Kai Sotto eager for ‘good challenge’ in Japan B.League
MANILA, Philippines — Kai Sotto believes he will continue to develop his game in reinforcing the Hiroshima Dragonflies in the 2022-23 B.League season.
The 20-year-old Filipino import seeks to keep improving all aspects of his play as he takes on his fellow foreign big men in the growing Japanese league.
“They just told me that this league is really competitive. As a big guy, I will be battling against some foreign players, imports every game, so I think they said it’s gonna be a good challenge for me playing in this league,” said Sotto during his introductory press conference on Thursday.
Sotto, who decided to play in the B.League after two seasons with the Adelaide 36ers in the National Basketball League in Australia, added he wanted to have the same experience with his fellow Filipinos, who have been thriving in Japan against the locals and ex-NBA players.
“I just saw how the B. League embraced our fellow Filipinos and I just wanted to have that experience. Seeing them play, play well, enjoy, and have a good experience, I wanna have the same thing too, so it’s a really good opportunity for me to play here, to have fun, and to learn,” he said.
Sotto has a lot to offer for Hiroshima when he debuts on March 8 against Carl Tamayo and the Ryukyu Golden Kings.
“Offensively, I’ve been asked to do whatever the coach wants me to do. Defensively, my team can rely on me to protect the rim and just bring that intensity on defense. Everything I can do, I try my best to help this team win,” the 7-foot-3 center said.
The Gilas Pilipinas player is eager to help the Dragonflies, who are currently No.3 in Western Conference with a 28-10 record, get more wins.
“I’ve already seen it, I’ve already heard how this team is a really good team. I just want to make it a little better now that I’m here. Just to have that extra guy to help the team in whatever I can do. I’m just here to get better myself and help this team win,” he said.
With his decision to sign with Hiroshima for the remainder of the season, Sotto said the next three months will be crucial for him, believing he is in the right team to take his game to the next level.
“I just want to keep on improving in all my aspects offensively and defensively, on and off the court, my strengths where I need to get stronger and faster,” Sotto said. “I just want to keep on playing, keep on getting better. I think this team will really help me improve and develop.”
Sotto, who averaged 7.1 points and 4.5 rebounds in 50 games during his second NBL season, is said to be pursuing his NBA dream after this B.League season.