Kai Sotto awaiting clean bill of health to join Gilas pool | Inquirer Sports

Kai Sotto awaiting clean bill of health to join Gilas pool

/ 05:15 AM July 22, 2023

Kai Sotto NBA Summer League Orlando Magic

FILE – Kai Sotto finally makes his NBA Summer League debut for Orlando Magic. –NBA PHOTO

Should he be given a clean bill of health, Kai Sotto will finally be joining the Gilas Pilipinas training pool as early as Monday and give the National Five added ceiling that it needs while ending the wait for one of their most sought-after players.

“He underwent MRI (screening) yesterday (Thursday). Results are going to come out over the weekend, but we fully expect him to be at practice on Monday,” Reyes told a few reporters shortly after practice early Friday night at Meralco Gym.

The 7-foot-3 Sotto’s arrival comes at a time when Gilas moves closer to the China leg of its preparations geared towards the global showcase set here beginning Aug. 25. The Nationals are scheduled to play in a pocket tournament in Guangdong province where it could simulate its assignments in the group phase.


Sotto arrived in the country a couple of days ago after coming off a short stint with the Orlando Magic in the NBA Summer League. It was his bid to resuscitate a dream of becoming the first homegrown Filipino to make the NBA.

A back injury that kept Sotto from playing against the Boston Celtics also cast some doubts on his participation in the national team’s preparations. Initial x-rays were encouraging, but the upcoming MRI result should provide Reyes and the rest of Gilas’ brain trust something definitive as it continues to plot for the World Cup that the Philippines will be cohosting alongside Japan and Indonesia.

Committed players

It was truly a welcome development for the program, which has been harping about how its players have been buying in on the arduous process of coalescing.

“I think one of the really big gains in [Estonia and Lithuania] is the players’ commitment,” Reyes told the Inquirer recently. “Those who went there endured extra hours of practice, two-a-days and road work, so there’s no question about it.”


“Honestly, those who went to Europe have a bigger chance than those who did not, all things being equal. (Their presence) was a big show of commitment,” he went on.

Reyes pointed out that he has never doubted Sotto’s dedication to the Gilas program.

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TAGS: Gilas Pilipinas, Kai Sotto

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