After a few weeks of uncertainty, NBA G League Ignite’s Kai Sotto is prioritizing country over club as he officially joins Gilas Pilipinas for the February window of the FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers on Thursday, January 21.
“I’m heading home soon. Sobrang excited ako para mabigyan ng opportunity na makapaglaro sa Gilas ngayong February window,” he said in an Instagram video.
“Nagpapasalamat ako sa lahat ng sumusuporta at naniniwala sa aking pangarap na makapaglaro para sa bayan, at sa tamang panahon, sa NBA. I’m very blessed to have many supporters, and I promise, I won’t let you down.”
(I’m heading home soon. I’m so excited to be given an opportunity to play for Gilas this February window. Thank you to everyone who supports and believes in my dream to play for the country, and in due time, the NBA. I’m very blessed to have many supporters, and I promise, I won’t let you down.)
Prior to this announcement, the 7-foot-3 Sotto already expressed his desire to join Gilas for the February window, which took Ignite head coach Brian Shaw by surprise.
His Gilas commitment was soon put up in the air after the NBA announced that it would start its 18-team G League season inside the Disney World bubble in Orlando on February 8, in clear conflict with the FIBA window in Clark, Pampanga.
However, those doubts are gone now as Sotto is set to fly back home, and join his Gilas kuyas at the Inspire Academy “Calambubble” in Laguna for training.
Whether or not the 18-year-old wunderkind will be allowed as a late entry in the Disney bubble, however, remains to be seen.
Back in the inaugural staging of the NBA bubble, late-arriving players were allowed to join their respective teams after a mandatory testing and quarantine period, which will also likely be enforced on Sotto if and when he returns. – Rappler.com
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