Kai Sotto lashes out after Will Navarro disallowed to play in Korea | Inquirer Sports

Kai Sotto lashes out after Will Navarro disallowed to play in Korea

/ 04:45 PM September 18, 2022
Kai Sotto Gilas Pilipinas Fiba World Cup Asian Qualifiers

Gilas Pilipinas center Kai Sotto during a game against Saudi Arabia in the Fiba World Cup Asian Qualifiers at Mall of Asia Arena. Photo by Fiba

MANILA, Philippines—Kai Sotto couldn’t hide his frustration after Gilas Pilipinas teammate William Navarro failed to get clearance from the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) to play for Seoul Samsung in the Korean Basketball League.

The 7-foot-3 center on Sunday rallied behind Navarro, who signed with Seoul last July.

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“I’m sorry but this is crazy. THIS HAS TO STOP. You got players who’ve been working hard and dreaming to play basketball at the highest level they can reach and we got our own people stopping us from achieving greatness,” wrote the 20-year-old Sotto, who is in his second season with the Adelaide 36ers in Australia’s National Basketball League.

Sotto, who recently played for Gilas in the fourth window of the Fiba World Cup Asian Qualifiers, also encouraged everyone to support all Filipino talents overseas. 

“At the end of the day, one’s success is “everyone’s”. So we have to help each other go up! Not down,” Sotto tweeted.

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On Saturday, Greg Slaughter, who is set to play in Japan B.League Division 2, also called out the PBA, saying it’s “total BS and crab mentality at its highest” and claiming the Philippine professional league “slammed the door” on him.

Hours after Sotto’s post, the SBP released a statement, saying it “respects players’ rights to look for greener pastures. But players also need to respect agreements they have entered into with their teams.”

The federation said Fiba issued its decision on September 12 not to allow Navarro to join the Samsung Thunders.

SBP also stated that Navarro, who was drafted by Northport in last year’s Gilas draft, has an existing contract “to play for the national team, attend activities, practices, social and business functions and with his undeniable agreement, be assigned to only and no other team or ballclub than his PBA drafting team, the NorthPort Batang Pier.”

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TAGS: Kai Sotto, KBL, SBP, William Navarro
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