Kai Sotto reaffirms commitment to Gilas’ Fiba World Cup bid
Kai Sotto calmed a few worries on Saturday—his supporters’ and that of the Gilas Pilipinas program.
The 21-year-old big man, who is neck-deep in auditions for an invite to the NBA’s Summer League, reiterated that his pro dreams will not interfere with his commitment to national cage program.
“I think there will be time,” Sotto said in an online interview with PlayItRightTV. “[The] Summer League won’t be a conflict in terms of scheduling … because the Summer League finishes mid-July and the [Fiba] World Cup is [late] August.”
Kai Sotto has been in the US and is due to visit the New York Knicks soon for a third workout which his team hopes would eventually translate into a stint in the Summer League in Las Vegas beginning July 7.
That tournament, which serves as another pathway for undrafted NBA hopefuls, runs for 10 days, which means Sotto should have a little over a month to spare and give to Gilas just before it plunges into the World Cup that the Philippines is cohosting with Japan and Indonesia beginning Aug. 25.
Sotto has been ruled unlikely for Gilas’ training camp in Europe, but could be available for other games lined up for the Philippines in preparation for the basketball showcase.
The Gilas management said the team will be participating in a pocket tournament in China and play the likes of Iran, Lebanon and Senegal.
The Philippines is bunched with the Dominican Republic, Angola and Italy in Group A of the Fiba (International Basketball Federation) World Cup.
National coach Chot Reyes said that his simple requirement for anyone who hopes to crack Gilas’ Final 12 is “to be with us six weeks, a month before the tournament, at the very least.”
Sotto is very much motivated to make that final roster.
“Any basketball player would want to play for their country—especially at this level. It’s the World Cup and the Philippines is hosting,” he said. “It might be, for most of us, the biggest games of our career, this coming World Cup so I’m very, very excited. It’s an honor to be part of the pool and it’s an even bigger opportunity, a bigger challenge if I make it to the Final 12.”