After his first Fiba World Cup, Kai Sotto sees bright future ahead for Gilas
MANILA, Philippines — After making his Fiba World Cup debut, Kai Sotto looks forward to more opportunities to suit up for Gilas Pilipinas, which he believes is “only gonna get better.”
In a lengthy Instagram post on Tuesday night, Sotto expressed his gratitude to represent the Philippines in its hosting of the global basketball spectacle.
“From dreams to reality! People who never worn this Pilipinas jersey will never understand the difficulties, pressure, and sacrifices we made. But also can’t compare to the fun and joy we experienced after it all ended,” the 7-foot-3 center wrote. “Thank you PILIPINAS! Your support was truly felt and it gave us more strength during the World Cup.”
Despite Gilas winning only one of its five games and missing a chance to earn an outright Olympic berth, Sotto chose to stick to the positives.
“What an experience for me, despite all the hate and distractions, I still got a lot of positives from all of this. I was just a young kid dreaming to play in this 2023 World Cup years ago, but now I am proud to say that I’ve been a part of it,” he said.
The 21-year-old Sotto, who averaged 6.0 points and 4.0 rebounds in 14 minutes in five games, played his best game against China with 12 points and six boards.
Sotto isn’t part of the Asian Games roster but he promises to be better the next time he plays for Gilas.
“Little Kai thought this World Cup would be the peak basketball that I would play in, but now after all of it, I’m confident and excited to say there’s still way more to it along the way,” Sotto said. “I hate talking about the future but this time I’m looking forward to it, Pilipinas is only gonna get better!”
Sotto will play for the Hiroshima Dragonflies in the B.League in Japan.