Kai Sotto sits atop final NBTC 24 rankings

MANILA, Philippines – Kai Sotto fortified his place as one of the top high school players in the country after lording over the final Chooks-to-Go/National Basketball Training Center rankings.

The 15-year-old wonder registered the first triple-double in UAAP juniors basketball history since the league recorded statistics in 2003 and powered the Ateneo Blue Eaglets in winning the Season 80 championships. 

Sotto averaged 17.0 points, 13.0 rebounds and 6.3 blocks in the best-of-3 championship series against the National University Bullpups, highlighted by a 22-point, 16-rebound and 11-block Game 1 performance, en route to winning the Finals Most Valuable Player. 

La Salle Green Hills point guard Joel Cagulangan emerged at second after leading the Junior Blazers to their first NCAA juniors championship while Sotto's teammate, SJ Belangel, was at third place. 

Completing the top 5 are NCAA Season 93 MVP Will Gozum (Mapua) and UAAP Season 80 MVP CJ Cansino (UST), who are at 4th and 5th, respectively. 

Here are the rest of the Top 24: 

6. Dave Ildefonso, forward, Ateneo 

7. L-Jay Gonzales, guard, FEU-Diliman 

8. John Galinato, guard, Chiang Kai Shek

9. Rhayyan Amsali, forward, NU

10. Aaron Fermin, center, Arellano

11. Clint Escamis, guard, Mapua

12. Inand Fornilos, forward, CSB-LSGH

13. Warren Bonifacio, center, Mapua

14. Terrence Fortea, guard, NU

15. RJ Abarrientos, guard, FEU-Diliman

16. Evan Nelle, guard, San Beda

17. Beirn Laurente, guard, UV

18. Miguel Oczon, forward, NU

19. Joem Sabandal, guard, Adamson

20. Raven Cortez, center, La Salle-Zobel

21. Mac Guadaña, guard, Lyceum

22. Joshua Yerro, forward, UV

23. Harvey Pagsanjan, guard, Hope Christian

24. Alex Visser, center, SHS-Ateneo de Cebu

The top 24 players will see action in an All-Star game on March 23 at the SM Mall of Asia Arena. But before that, they will be drafted to teams headed by Lyceum head coach Topex Robinson and Valenzuela Classic tactician Chris Gavina. – Rappler.com

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.