MANILA, Philippines – Although the Kai Sotto world tour will soon be underway, rest assured that there is always no place like home.
While the 7-foot-2 wunderkind already revealed his plans to train in the US and eventually in Europe, his dad Ervin promised that their doors will always remain open for the Philippine basketball team.
“Sabihin ko sa inyo, bale sa kontrata na pipirmahan namin ni Kai sa kung ano mang club, No. 1 priority namin yung Gilas,” the elder Sotto said. “Anong oras man kailanganin ng Pilipinas yung serbisyo ng anak ko, expect niyong nandoon yung bata.”
(I’m telling you, in the contract that Kai and I will sign with whatever club, our No. 1 priority is Gilas. Whenever the Philippines needs the services of my son, expect that he will be there.)
“Anumang [pool], maglalaro yang bata na yan. Dream nya ‘yan eh,” he added during the special Chooks-to-Go-hosted dinner on Tuesday, March 26.
(Whatever pool that is, that kid will play. That’s his dream.)
The Sottos are set to leave early April for Atlanta to begin Kai’s training before they finally decide on one team. And the Sotto patriarch revealed that settling with a European club is most likely their next goal, with the US NCAA out of the picture.
“Mas gusto ko yung [Europe] kasi yung skillset ng bata, malaki siya, di naman siya ganun ka-athletic pero mataas siya tumalon para sa height niya. Mobile siya,” he said. “Mataas yung upside niya, so nakikita ko pag nanonood ako ng NBA, yung mga lumalabas na European players ngayon, parang ganoon yung skillset. So sabi ko, pwede siguro siya maging ganoon.”
(I prefer Europe more because when you look at the skillset of the kid, he’s tall, not very athletic but still jumps well for his height. He’s mobie. He’s got high upside and when I watch the NBA, the European players who are coming out now have those same skillsets. So I said he could be like that.)
“Pero di naman siya magiging katulad ni [Duke University star] Zion Williamson, alam mo yun? Di siya puwede maging Kobe Paras na sobrang athletic, di siya ganoon,” he continued. “So nakikita ko is parang European style of play.”
(But he won’t be someone like Duke University star Zion Williamson, you know? He can’t be like Kobe Paras who’s super athletic. He’s not like that. So what I’m seeing is the European style of play.)
The young Kai may be on his way to receive a lot of overseas training that not many can brag about, but his father repeated that the Philippines will be the first to reap its rewards.
“Kahit anong mangyari, babalik siya rito. Pilipino yan eh,” he said.
(Whatever happens, he’ll return. He’s a Filipino.) – Rappler.com