Academics first: Kai Sotto skips Gilas tuneup vs Jordan

Delfin Dioquino
Academics first: Kai Sotto skips Gilas tuneup vs Jordan
The 7-foot-1 wunderkind misses what could have been his debut for the senior squad

MANILA, Philippines – Kai Sotto is living up to what a student-athlete is. 

The 7-foot-1 wunderkind skipped Gilas Pilipinas’ tuneup against Jordan on Monday, November 19, to focus on his exams at the Ateneo de Manila High School this week.

Fellow Gilas cadet Ricci Rivero clarified why Sotto was absent from the game, which saw the Filipinos surrender a 92-98 verdict to the Jordanians

“Exam week nila. Nagsabi siya sa akin na if ever may maghanap sa kanya, ‘Sabihin mo na lang,'” Rivero told reporters after the game. 

(It’s their exam week. He told me that if someone looks for him, I should tell them that it’s his exam week.)

“Exam week niya so respect na lang natin ‘yung desisyon niya rin kasi siyempre academics, school muna talaga,” Rivero added. 

(It’s his exam week so we should respect his decision because it should be academics, school first.) 

Sotto, the youngest in Gilas’ current 20-man pool for the 5th window of the World Cup qualifiers, can still play when the Nationals meet Jordan again on Wednesday, November 21. 

That is if he can join team practices on Tuesday, November 20, according to head coach Yeng Guiao.

“I think he’s still working on his academics. Kung makaka-practice siya bukas, puwede natin siyang gamitin sa Wednesday (If he’ll practice tomorrow, maybe we can use him on Wednesday),” Guiao said. (READ: Talent-laden Gilas should focus on chemistry, says Standhardinger–

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Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.