Kai Sotto commits to Gilas cause, announces plan to return home
Kai Sotto

Kai Sotto commits to Gilas cause, announces plan to return home

Alder Almo (Philstar.com) - January 21, 2021 - 12:11pm

JERSEY CITY – Kai Sotto is putting his NBA dream on hold as he commits to playing for the next FIBA Asia Cup window next month.

Sotto made the announcement on his Instagram account on Wednesday night (Thursday morning, Manila time).

"I'm heading home soon. Sobrang excited ako na binigyan ng opportunity para makapaglaro sa Gilas ngayong February window. Nagpapasalamat ako sa lahat ng sumusuporta at naniniwala sa aking pangarap na makapaglaro para sa bayan at sa tamang panahon, sa NBA," he said.

The next FIBA window, scheduled to be played from February 18-22 in Clark City, will run smack to the G League bubble in Orlando, which is set for tip-off on February 8.

It is still unclear if Sotto will rejoin his G League team, Ignite, in the Orlando bubble after his Gilas stint. Messages sent to his management team EastWest Private seeking comment were unanswered as of posting time.

Sotto’s homecoming will mark his debut with the senior national team. He was one of the main pillars of the Batang Gilas program before flying to the US to go after his NBA dream.

Sotto vowed to give his all after being used sparingly in the scrimmages of the G League Ignite team, which features NBA Lottery prospects Jalen Green and Jonathan Kuminga.

"I am very blessed to have many supporters, and I promise I won't let you down," Sotto added.

The 7-foot-3 Filipino wunderkind will join the Gilas pool led by PBA players Kiefer Ravena, CJ Perez, and Justin Chua. Roger Pogoy, Troy Rosario, and Raul Soyud are set to go inside the Gilas bubble on Friday. 

Completing the pool are Gilas draft picks Isaac Go, Rey Suerte, Matt and Mike Nieto, Gilas cadets Justine Baltazar, Javi Gomez de Liaño, Dave Ildefonso, Will Navarro, Calvin Oftana, Kemark Cariño, and naturalized player candidate Angelo Kouame.

Gilas will play Korea and Indonesia in the next window.

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