Kai Sotto still on right track, says PBA legend Fernandez
MANILA, Philippines — Kai Sotto’s bid to make the NBA may have hit a snag, but Philippine basketball legend Ramon Fernandez thinks the Filipino teen sensation remains on target with his goal.
After all, going to the United States was the best option for Sotto to fulfill his dream of becoming the first full-blooded Filipino in the NBA, according to Fernandez.
“For me, he made the right choice to go the States to train and all that,” Fernandez, arguably the greatest PBA player ever, said in Filipino on Tuesday during the PSA Forum.
Sotto, who turns 19 next month, chose the G League’s pathway program to play for Ignite, which was comprised of top US high school prospects including Fil-American guard Jalen Green.
Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum with Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) commissioner Ramon Fernandez.
Posted by Philippine Sportswriters Association on Monday, April 12, 2021
But Sotto never got to suit up for Ignite after he went back to the Philippines in hopes of playing for Gilas Pilipinas in the postponed Fiba Asia Cup qualifiers in February.
A “mutual decision” between the two camps was reached that Sotto will no longer play for Ignite, dealing a big blow to the 7-foot-3 center’s NBA plans.
Still, Fernandez believes time is still on Sotto’s side despite the drawback.
“He did the right thing. He should look for the highest level of competition abroad, and he can only find that in the States or even Europe,” said Fernandez, the PBA’s all-time leader in points, rebounds and blocks.
“How old is he, 19, 18? It’s just right because when I was 18 also, I would have wanted to go to the States and train but it didn’t happen,” he added. “So he’s doing the right thing.”