Japan B. League

New home: Kai Sotto heads to Japan after Hiroshima signing

Philip Matel

This is AI generated summarization, which may have errors. For context, always refer to the full article.

New home: Kai Sotto heads to Japan after Hiroshima signing

SKID. Kai Sotto and the Adelaide 36ers drop to below .500 in the National Basketball League.

Kai Sotto's Instagram page

The Japan exodus continues as Filipino star Kai Sotto joins the Hiroshima Dragonflies in the B. League after a two-year NBL stint in Australia

MANILA, Philippines – Filipino center Kai Sotto made the big jump to the Japan B. League as he signed with the Hiroshima Dragonflies, the team announced on Tuesday, February 7.

This comes after an amicable exit from the National Basketball League (NBL) club Adelaide 36ers in Australia, having been booted from playoff contention last Sunday, February 5.

Sotto, who averaged 7.1 points and 4.5 rebounds in 50 games with Adelaide, is eager to help bring his new team success.

“I am looking forward to playing for the Hiroshima Dragonflies. We will do our best to make the Dragonflies have a great season as they aim to win the B. League,” Sotto said in a statement.

“I would like to thank the president and general manager for giving me this opportunity. I’m looking forward to meeting my teammates, staff and, of course, the fans,” he added.

Sotto also took time to thank the Adelaide 36ers in his social media posts, saying he’s “so grateful for the two unforgettable years.”

“It had its ups and downs, but I’m sure the 36ers community will always be part of my life and I’ll miss this place,” he said.

Hiroshima is one of the best teams in the current season, sitting at fourth with a 27-9 record, with the league heading on a month-long FIBA World Cup Asian qualifiers break after this weekend.

The Dragonflies will be adding their second Filipino import this season, having signed, then released Justine Baltazar in 2022.

General manager Shuji Okazaki said he’s proud of Hiroshima’s latest recruit, calling Sotto a “likely” NBA signing, following the steps of Japanese hoopers Rui Hachimura and Yuta Watanabe.

Sotto’s signing will also be a huge improvement to the team’s rebounding, he added.

“Kai Sotto’s biggest attraction will be his scoring and rebounding in the paint area, taking advantage of his overwhelming height of 220 cm,” Okazaki said in a statement.

“In addition, he has a very high basketball IQ, can move agilely, and is good at running plays, so I am confident that he will be a good match for the rapid development of Hiroshima’s defense and offense.”

The 7-foot-3 beanpole is one of the 24 men named to the Gilas Pilipinas pool for the sixth window, set to be held at the Philippine Arena later this month.

– Rappler.com

Add a comment

Sort by

There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.

Summarize this article with AI

How does this make you feel?

Download the Rappler App!