Kai Sotto to stay with Ateneo amid Real Madrid recruitment rumors
MANILA, Philippines – Kai Sotto is not Euroleague-bound, at least for now.
New Ateneo juniors coach Reggie Varilla said his prized 7-foot-1 prospect is staying right here at home to play for the Blue Eaglets in the UAAP Season 81 juniors basketball tournament.
“Kai is still with his Eaglets family,” said Varilla, who took over the squad after former coach Joe Silva joined the UE Red Warriors seniors team.
“Right now, he’s focused on two things: preparing for the UAAP season and graduating from Ateneo junior high school.”
This comes after reports that the 16-year-old budding star has received a million-dollar offer to play for Real Madrid Baloncesto.
The famed Euroleague squad has housed Hall of Famers like big man Ardyvas Sabonis and legendary shooter Drazen Petrovic.
Sotto has been a revelation both on local and international courts. He breezed through the competition in the UAAP at a young age, winning a championship and a Finals MVP award in Season 79.
He also averaged 16.4 points and 10.6 rebounds in the FIBA Under-17 World Cup last July in Argentina. He was no slouch either in the FIBA U18 Asian Championship a month later in Thailand, posting averages of 12.7 points and 8.7 boards.
Sotto will now lead the title defense of a depleted Ateneo squad, which just lost Joaqui Manuel, Jason Credo and Mythical Five members Dave Ildefonso and SJ Belangel. He will, however, find help in new transferee point guard and fellow Batang Gilas skipper Forthsky Padrigao. –Rappler.com