Kai commits to all-out play

Joaquin Henson - The Philippine Star
Kai commits to all-out play
Kai Sotto

MANILA, Philippines — It’s confirmed. Kai Sotto will suit up for Gilas in the fourth FIBA World Cup Asia qualifying window against Lebanon in Beirut on Aug. 25 and Saudi Arabia at the MOA Arena on Aug. 29.

Sotto, 20, leaves his training camp in Ohio today for Australia where he’ll play a second season with the Adelaide 36ers in the National Basketball League (NBL) starting Oct. 1. He’ll arrive in Manila from Adelaide on Aug. 18, the same day when NBA guard Jordan Clarkson is scheduled to land. After the FIBA window, Sotto will rejoin the 36ers who are set to play in the annual NBL preseason tournament called the Blitz from Sept. 16 to 23 in Darwin. Adelaide’s first game is against Melbourne on Sept. 16. Then the 36ers face Tasmania on Sept. 19 and Illawarra on Sept. 22. There are plans for Adelaide to play exhibition games with NBA teams Oklahoma City and Phoenix in the US.

Sotto will be unavailable to play for Gilas in the fifth window in November and sixth window in February next year because of his Adelaide commitments. But he’s sure to suit up for the national team at the 2023 FIBA World Cup. “Kai’s always willing to play his heart out for the country,” said a source close to Sotto who has played five games for the Gilas seniors, three in the FIBA Asia Cup 2021 qualifiers and two in the Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Serbia last year.

It’s still not known who will be named to the Gilas pool for the fourth window although Clarkson, Sotto and Dwight Ramos are shoo-ins. Gilas coach Chot Reyes plans to call for his first practice on Monday. The latest the PBA Philippine Cup semifinals will end is on Aug. 17. From the PBA, only the players who make it to the Finals will be unavailable for the window.

Among the PBA players from eliminated teams expected to be invited to the pool are Barangay Ginebra’s Japeth Aguilar and Scottie Thompson, NorthPort’s Jamie Malonzo and NLEX’ Calvin Oftana. The players currently seeing action in the semifinals who may be tapped are San Miguel Beer’s June Mar Fajardo and CJ Perez, Meralco’s Chris Newsome and TNT’s Poy Erram, Troy Rosario and RR Pogoy. Others who could be in the pool are Bobby Ray Parks, Thirdy Ravena, Kiefer Ravena, Jordan Heading, Roosevelt Adams, Carl Tamayo, Kevin Quiambao and Francis Lopez.


  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

or sign in with