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FACT CHECK: Kai Sotto did not join Sacramento Kings


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FACT CHECK: Kai Sotto did not join Sacramento Kings
The misleading video was shared a few days after the Filipino basketball star parted ways with Yokohama B-Corsairs

Claim: Filipino basketball star Kai Sotto has sealed a contract with the Sacramento Kings with the help of Filipino-American National Basketball Association (NBA) coach Jimmy Alapag.

Rating: FALSE

Why we fact-checked this: The video bearing the claim has gained 76,000 views, 140 comments, and 1,000 likes as of writing. It originated from a YouTube account with 14,900 subscribers, known for spreading false claims about Sotto.

The video’s title implies that Sotto has joined the Sacramento Kings: “Kai Sotto finally kinuha na ng Sacramento Kings sa tulong ni Jimmy Apapag – Congratulations!” 

(Kai Sotto was finally picked by the Sacramento Kings with the help of Jimmy [Alapag]. Congratulations!)

Former Philippine Basketball Association player Alapag is currently the player development coach of the Kings.

The video’s thumbnail also features a supposed photo of NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and Sotto shaking hands.

The facts: Kai Sotto denied the report that he signed a contract with the Sacramento Kings.

“Kai is currently focused on playing well in the OQT (Olympic Qualifying Tournament). The NBA remains a goal for him and his team, however, he is working hard to get there,” Sotto’s team told Rappler in an email on Wednesday, May 29.

The video in question does not provide any details about the supposed contract or the team Sotto allegedly joined. The narrator only mentions the possibility of the Filipino big man being drafted by an NBA team.


Sotto and NBA: In the 2022 NBA Draft, Sotto was unable to convince any basketball teams to select him.

However, the following year, in 2023, he made his NBA Summer League debut with the Orlando Magic.

On May 21, Sotto and Yokohama B-Corsairs officially parted ways after his loan from the Hiroshima Dragonflies expired.

Sotto’s plans for the next season with another Japan B. League team remain uncertain, but he is anticipated to play for Gilas Pilipinas in the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament in July.

Rappler has published fact checks debunking claims related to Sotto:

– James Patrick Cruz/Rappler.com

Keep us aware of suspicious Facebook pages, groups, accounts, websites, articles, or photos in your network by contacting us at factcheck@rappler.com. You may also report dubious claims to the #FactsFirstPH tipline by messaging Rappler on Facebook or Newsbreak via Twitter direct message. You may also report through our Viber fact check chatbot. Let us battle disinformation one Fact Check at a time.

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