Kai Sotto hurt ahead of Gilas Pilipinas’ Olympic bid semis

Delfin Dioquino

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Kai Sotto hurt ahead of Gilas Pilipinas’ Olympic bid semis

SHOT. Kai Sotto in action for Gilas Pilipinas in the 2024 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament.


Kai Sotto sits out the entire second half of Gilas Pilipinas' close loss to Georgia after sustaining a suspected rib injury

MANILA, Philippines – The availability of Kai Sotto for the rest of the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Riga, Latvia, is a major concern for Gilas Pilipinas as he sustained a suspected rib injury.

The 7-foot-3 big man got hurt in the second quarter of the Philippines’ 96-94 loss to Georgia on Thursday, July 4, after Orlando Magic center Goga Bitadze landed on top of him.

Immediately subbed out, Sotto never returned and got taken to the hospital after the game.

“He’s in the hospital checking out his rib, it’s an X-ray. We don’t have any news on that yet or whether he’ll be able to go forward,” head coach Tim Cone said of Sotto during the post-game press conference.

Sotto recorded 4 points and 2 blocks in 12 minutes of play before the collision, which left him lying on the floor in pain.

Even without Sotto, the Filipinos fought back from a 20-point deficit, and despite falling short of a win, achieved the quotient target of losing by no more than 18 points to advance to the crossover semifinals.

Cone got timely contributions from his reserves, with Carl Tamayo producing 7 points and Japeth Aguilar putting up 2 points, 4 rebounds, and 2 assists.

“[They] really stepped into the void and gave us big minutes in what would have been Kai’s minutes. We were able to stay close,” said Cone.

Having Sotto back, though, would be crucial as the Philippines battles the top seed from Group B, which is composed of Brazil, Montenegro, and Cameroon, in the crossover semifinals on Saturday, July 6.

Sotto rose to the occasion in the Nationals’ 89-80 upset of world No. 6 Latvia, churning out 18 points, 8 rebounds, and 1 block. –

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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.