US basketball

Kai Sotto ‘right there’ in NBA hunt, says agent

Delfin Dioquino

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Kai Sotto ‘right there’ in NBA hunt, says agent

DEADLY DUO. Kai Sotto and Jordan Clarkson in action for Gilas Pilipinas.


'He's there. It's just a matter of taking the next step,' says Tony Ronzone, the agent of Filipino basketball star Kai Sotto

MANILA, Philippines – The NBA is within reach for Kai Sotto.

That is according to his agent Tony Ronzone of sports agency Wasserman as the 7-foot-3 big man gives his NBA dreams another shot after going undrafted last year.

Sotto is currently in the United States with hopes of earning a roster spot in the NBA Summer League in July.

“He’s there. It’s just a matter of taking the next step. Skill-wise, he’s got it,” Ronzone said in an interview excerpt posted by the Power and Play with Noli Eala program of Radyo Singko.

“You can’t teach height, you can’t teach his ability to score, shooting the three ball. Most bigs can’t shoot the three ball. Kai can shoot the three ball.”

Sotto recently participated in mini camps organized by the Utah Jazz and Dallas Mavericks.

The Jazz are the team of Filipino-American star Jordan Clarkson, while the Mavericks have a history of signing Filipino players to their NBA G League affiliate Texas Legends.

Ray Parks played for the Mavericks’ Summer League squad and the Legends in 2015, while Kiefer Ravena signed with the Legends as a developmental player in 2016.

“He’s right there, it’s just a matter of him grabbing it. That’s why we’re going through the process right now, we’re escalating it quickly because we’re trying to get him ready,” said Ronzone.

“We got continuous workouts and we got Summer League.”

Sotto inked a new deal with Japan B. League side Hiroshima Dragonflies, but the team said the 21-year-old has the option to terminate his contract if he signs with an NBA team.

While Sotto can set aside his B. League commitment for the meantime, he still has to think about his Gilas Pilipinas ties after being included in the 21-man pool for the FIBA World Cup.

The national team is expected to miss Sotto at the start of its training camp as the Summer League runs until July 17, over a month before the World Cup tips off on August 25. –

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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.