Kai Sotto says he’s fit in well with Gilas despite missing time
MANILA, Philippines — Kai Sotto may have just joined Gilas Pilipinas in its training camp but the young center has had no problems fitting in.
Sotto had to complete the mandatory 14-day quarantine upon his arrival in Manila last May 31 from the United States.
“It’s okay. It’s been really really good. The guys in this team are very fun guys to be with on and off the court. So for me, it was very easy to adjust being with them,” Sotto said in an interview with Fiba.
Familiarity plays a key factor in Sotto’s somewhat seamless transition.
“Most of them, I’ve already [played with] before, and to see everybody now playing for the men’s national team, you know, it’s just a really good feeling for me,” he said.
Sotto was high school teammates with Geo Chiu and SJ Belangel, who are also part of the Gilas pool. The three won a UAAP championship together for Ateneo.
The 7-foot-3 Sotto also said he didn’t have a hard time getting a full grasp of Tab Baldwin’s system.
Baldwin, Gilas’ program director, will call the shots for the team in the coming Fiba Asia Cup qualifiers in Clark and the Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Serbia on June 29.
“For me, I don’t really find anything hard to get or to learn. I think that’s one of my strengths is that I’m a fast learner and I’m very fast to adjust. It took me just a couple of days to learn all coach Tab’s systems, plays, and defensive schemes, and everything,” Sotto said.
“It’s been easier because coach Sandy (Arespacochaga) is by my side in the process, helping me and telling me what I should or should not do. For now, it’s been really good.”
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