NBA Summer League

Asian NBA hopefuls carry ‘burden of physical disadvantage,’ Kiefer Ravena tells Kai Sotto

Philip Matel

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

Asian NBA hopefuls carry ‘burden of physical disadvantage,’ Kiefer Ravena tells Kai Sotto

NBA HOPEFUL. Kai Sotto answers post-game questions from the media in the NBA Summer League.

NBA PHILIPPINES SCREENSHOT

Former NBA G League hopeful Kiefer Ravena wants Kai Sotto, who is set to rejoin Gilas Pilipinas after a Summer League stint, to ‘keep on trying’

MANILA, Philippines — Count Kiefer Ravena as one of the millions of Filipinos raring to see center Kai Sotto be the first homegrown Filipino to make it to the NBA.

The Shiga Lakestars guard, who had his own NBA G League stint with the Texas Legends as a development player in 2016, has been giving advice to the 21-year-old Sotto, who recently played for the Orlando Magic Summer League team.

Ravena pointed out that even at 7-foot-3, Sotto had his share of challenges heading to the Las Vegas journey, including going up against heftier foes.

“Even though you’re already there, it’s like you carry a chip on your shoulder since you’re an Asian, you always have… that burden of a physical disadvantage and proving yourself why you belong there,” said Ravena after the Gilas Pilipinas practice on Tuesday, July 18.

“Those are the challenges there, and it’s not easy because we have our own to bear, so we don’t know how each of us handle different things.” 

Sotto had a disappointing ending to his Summer League foray, exiting in the first half with 2 rebounds, 1 assist, and 1 block after suffering from back pain in the Magic’s loss to the Boston Celtics, 94-77,  last Sunday.

Orlando emerged winless in five games, with Sotto scoring 6 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 blocks in his on-court debut in a loss against the Portland Trail Blazers, 88-71, after riding the bench in their first three games.

Ravena noted the massive expectations from local basketball fans, but he wants Sotto to “keep on trying.” 

“I’m one of the millions of Filipinos who are behind his back trying to support him,” Ravena said.

“As a Filipino, I want to see a Filipino in the NBA, so I was keeping in touch with him and asking tons of stuff so that he would know that there are many rooting for him.” 

Gilas Pilipinas head coach Chot Reyes, citing Sotto’s agent Tony Ronzone, said on Monday that the Filipino beanpole’s x-rays turned out negative.

Sotto is expected to join the Philippine team soon after returning home Wednesday.

“Like I said, unless he’s here, he’ll be here when he’ll be here,” said Reyes as he awaits for Sotto to join Gilas Pilipinas’ World Cup buildup. – Rappler.com

Add a comment

Sort by

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

Summarize this article with AI
Download the Rappler App!