Kai Sotto leads FIBA Asia U16 in 3 departments
MANILA, Philippines – Batang Gilas may not have landed a medal in the FIBA U16 Asian Championships in Foshan, China, but the tournament became Kai Sotto's avenue to prove why he is touted as the country's future in basketball.
The 15-year-old established himself as one of the best budding big men in the region as he lorded over the efficiency, blocking, and rebounding departments of the tournament.
In 6 games played for Batang Gilas, Sotto was the most efficient with a 21.5 player efficiency rating (PER) per game, besting Iran's Matin Aghajanpour, who normed a 20.4 PER.
The lanky 7-foot center, who was 5th in scoring with 16.8 points per game, was also active on the defensive end, registering tournament-bests of 13.5 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per game.
Thanks to Sotto's dominant play, Batang Gilas reached the semifinals of the tournament, which afforded the Filipinos a spot in the FIBA U17 World Cup.
The UAAP Season 80 juniors' Finals MVP had 28 points, 21 rebounds, and 3 blocks in a 72-70 win over Japan that sent Batang Gilas to the semifinals.
Sotto then had another impressive performance of 26 points, 21 rebounds, and 6 blocks against China in the semis, although the game ended in a 54-60 defeat.
He has a few months to sharpen his skills before Batang Gilas sees action in the World Cup, which will be held in Argentina from June 30 to July 8. – Rappler.com