Coach doesn’t have say if Sotto plays right away
Kai Sotto is on his way back to the United States to backstop Ignite in the NBA G League’s bubble tournament in Orlando, Florida, but whether he actually gets to suit up, however, remains up in the air.
“That’ll be something that will be determined by the people that are above my paygrade,” Ignite head coach Brian Shaw said during media availability on the heels of the team’s latest victory on Sunday (Manila time).
Sotto returned to the Philippines earlier this month, hoping to reinforce a Philippine team in the Fiba (International Basketball Federation) Asia Cup qualifiers for three games against South Korea and Indonesia. It was a move that raised eyebrows back in the United States as Ignite was also in deep preparation for the G League’s new season.
Even Shaw himself wasn’t a fan of the move. He previously said that Sotto’s best chance of growth was playing for Ignite. Nevertheless, Shaw still threw his support behind the young Filipino.
East West Private, the firm that handles Sotto’s career, later clarified that the G League actually gave the 7-foot-3 Sotto clearance to play for Gilas, granted he flies back to the States as soon as the Nationals’ last match wrapped up.
Those matches never happened.
Sotto will have to hurdle multiple quarantine measures before he could even enter the G League’s bio-secure setup at Walt Disney World complex, which will leave him with lesser games to play in.
Ignite is currently undefeated in three games.
“Right now, I’m just concerned about the guys that are here and coaching them and we’ll see what happens when we get to that point,” Shaw said.
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