MANILA, Philippines – Whether Kai Sotto will suit up for Gilas Pilipinas in the sixth and final window of the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers remains uncertain.
Chot Reyes said on Saturday, February 11, that the national team has yet to receive confirmation from the camp of the 7-foot-3 big man if he will play in a pair of home games against Jordan and Lebanon later this month.
“I know that they’re talking. They’re under negotiations. We’ve made an offer. We’ve made a very good offer. It is up to them now what they will do about it, if they accept it or not,” Reyes said.
“Of course, I hope they do but you know, we’ll never know until he is actually here, right?”
Sotto recently wrapped up his second season in the National Basketball League in Australia as the Adelaide 36ers fell short of a playoff berth.
Taking his talents to the Japan B. League, the 20-year-old will now reinforce the Hiroshima Dragonflies.
Sotto played in four of the Philippines’ 10 games in the Asian Qualifiers, averaging 13.3 points, 9.3 rebounds, and 3.3 blocks.
If Sotto decides to beg off from the sixth window, his absence will add to the frontcourt woes of Gilas Pilipinas, which is also in danger of missing the services of injured forward Japeth Aguilar.
“He has always told us how committed he is to the national team, how he wants to serve. I think you can see it even in his own personal statements, his posts,” said Reyes.
“But again, until he is here, we’ll never really know.”
The Philippines eyes a sweep of its home stand when it hosts Lebanon on February 24 and Jordan on February 27 at the Philippine Arena in Bulacan. – Rappler.com
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