Kai Sotto to miss Mighty Sports' Dubai stint
MANILA, Philippines – Mighty Sports announced that Kai Sotto will not play in the Dubai International Basketball Tournament as the team leaves on Wednesday, January 22.
The team blamed unresolved logistical and scheduling issues on Sotto's part.
The Mighty Sports-Creative Pacific Team told its supporters here and in Dubai that the latest development was beyond its control and would not affect its chances since the team remains solid.
Filipino fans in the Emirates, though, will still get to see Ateneo star Thirdy Ravena, ex-NU standout Dave Ildefonso and UP’s Juan Gomez de Liano, who are excited to strut their wares in the tournament.
While coach Charles Tiu was saddened, he remained confident of the team’s strong chances, saying they had enough firepower with the presence of naturalized Filipino Andray Blatche, veteran Renaldo Balkman, McKenzie Moore, Jelan Kendrick and Rain or Shine’s Beau Belga.
Other members of the team are Joseph Yeo, Jarrell Lim, Jamie Malonzo, Javi Gomez de Liano, Joaqui Manuel, Gab Banal and the exciting Mikey Williams.
They launch their title bid on Thursday, January 23, against the national team of the host country after landing in the five-team Group B.
After UAE, Mighty Sports will face Al-Itihad of Syria at 11pm on Friday, January 24, then take a two-day break.
"We’re all hoping we can bring more excitement to the Filipinos in the Emirates so we hope we can hurdle our first two games," said team owner Alex Wongchuking.
Mighty Sports then will resume its campaign on Monday, January 27, against the dangerous Rades of Tunisia, before capping its elimination campaign against Beirut Sports Club at 1am on Wednesday, January 29.
Tiu is convinced the other group – composed of defending champion Al Riyadi of Lebanon, Alexandria of Egypt, Sala of Morocco, Al Wathba of Syria, American University of Dubai and Lebanon’s Hoops Club – is probably a bit stronger.
"But it won’t matter cause in the crossover quarterfinals we will play them also. But what is important is everybody is excited and team is coming together," said Tiu. – Rappler.com