Kai Sotto believes B.League showing ‘only going to get better’ as he adjusts
MANILA, Philippines — Kai Sotto admitted his debut in the Japan B.League left something to be desired but he is confident that things are bound to get better for him and the Hiroshima Dragonflies as the 2022-23 season goes on.
The 7-foot-3 center with 10 points on 4-of-7 shooting and had three blocks, two rebounds, and a steal in 19 minutes only for Dragonflies to fall to the Ryukyu Golden Kings, 86-78, on Wednesday at Okinawa Arena.
“My performance today is not the best but I believe I can get better since it’s my first day here in this league so I’m still adjusting to [everything]. It’s only going to get better,” said Sotto in the post-game interview.
The Dragonflies dropped to 28-11 as Sotto’s former high school rival and Gilas teammate Carl Tamayo got the last laugh despite being benched in his supposed first B.League game.
‘A LOT OF POSITIVES’
But the Sotto said being a starter in his first B.League game made his debut more special despite the loss.
“Starting or not starting it really doesn’t matter as long as I know I can help my team every game. Being a starter for my first game is special because I could just see how my team and my coach trust me,” Sotto said. “We didn’t win the game but there are a lot of positives to see. Really looking forward to our next games.”
Sotto, who played for two seasons with the Adelaide 36ers in Australia’s National Basketball League, said he is having a smooth transition so far with the Dragonflies.
“My transition from NBL to here has been good. I played here because I wanted to keep on playing. I wanted to be in good shape so I had a lot of energy from the start. I was really excited to play this game,” he said. “We didn’t get the result we wanted but we learned a lot from this game and looking forward to our next games.”
Sotto and the Dragonflies will face Matthew Wright’s Kyoto Hannaryz next Wednesday. The Filipino prodigy is eager to improve his inside presence in the game as he only had two rebounds.
“That’s probably the main thing that I have to improve on for our next games because rebounding and defending the rims are my biggest assignments. I need to get better on that,” Sotto said. “I had very few rebounds today. I know that that’s gonna be key for me heading towards the next game.”
“I think I just have to maintain that presence inside [because] that’s gonna help my team. I take pride in defending the paint. Next games I’ll only gonna get better, the team is gonna get better so I’m excited,” he added.