Kai Sotto set to arrive in PH Monday night
MANILA, Philippines — Kai Sotto, the 7-foot-3 teen prodigy, is set to arrive in Manila on Monday night, according to the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP).
Special Assistant to the president Ryan Gregorio confirmed the development to the Inquirer on the heels of an earlier media report.
Sotto, who recently signed with the Adelaide 36ers in Australia’s National Basketball League, was expected to backstop the National Five in two Fiba competitions this June.
And while Gregorio has not entirely ruled out that possibility, the former national coach also pointed out the country’s current health protocols, which should keep Sotto immediately joining the team’s practices.
“He has to go through quarantine as mandated by the government. We have to play it by ear,” Gregorio said.
The Philippines is scheduled to host the Fiba Asia Cup Qualifiers in Clark Freeport from June 16 to 20. There, Gilas will be needing only one more victory to clinch a berth for the continental meet.
The other scenario for Sotto is that he gets decent training time with the Gilas pool and reinforces the Nationals in the all-important Fiba Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Belgrade, Serbia on June 29.
“What’s important is [he’ll] be already in town. (His schedule) is [still] very fluid,” Gregorio said.
The Inquirer has reached out to Gilas program director Tab Baldwin, who has yet to respond as of this story’s posting.
In a previous interview, Baldwin said that he prefers having Sotto training with the talent pool for at least a month.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.