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Kai Sotto medically cleared to play for Gilas – SBP

Ralph Edwin Villanueva - Philstar.com
Kai Sotto medically cleared to play for Gilas � SBP
Kai Sotto
STAR / File

(UPDATED 1:43 p.m.) MANILA, Philippines – Gilas Pilipinas big man Kai Sotto has been medically cleared to play in the upcoming FIBA World Cup, Samahang Basketbol ng PIlipinas (SBP) president Al Panlilio said Tuesday. 

Panlilio said Sotto's doctor met with team doctors, who have declared that the 7-foot-3 center is fit to see action for Gilas.

“Our doctors met… They’ve cleared [Sotto.] Obviously what Kai needs is to improve his fitness in the coming days,” Panlilio told reporters during the special forum of the Philippine Sportswriters Association at the Meralco Conference Hall in Pasig City Tuesday morning. 

“Our doctors spoke yesterday and he’s been cleared to play. That is good news. Again, we’re looking forward to seeing him play also in the friendlies, so everybody could get ready for the start [of the world cup,]” he added. 

The SBP president bared that Sotto — who is coming off a back injury — attended a Gilas practice recently, and that all 16 players in the pool were there. 

Panlilio, however, said they did not see the results of the MRI Sotto had before the team flew to China for a pocket tournament. 

“What we wanted to do to put closure, to really move forward and really focus on the games is [that] our doctors met,” he said. 

“He was working hard the other night, and you can see he was getting tired at some point, and I think [fitness] is the area he needs to work on,” Panlilio continued. 

Point guard Scottie Thompson, who sustained a hand injury in the past, also attended the practice and is "fit."

However, Thompson just has to go back to his groove. 

“I think Scottie is fit. I guess it’s just a matter of getting back to the groove of playing basketball, but he did play,” he said.’

Gilas will be facing the Dominican Republic on August 25 in the World Cup opener. It will also take on Italy and Angola in its group.

Panlilio said Gilas will have three tune-up games in the coming days, against Ivory Coast, Montenegro and Mexico. These matches will be pivotal in determining the final 12-man Gilas roster, which will be announced “maybe August 23rd,” according to the SBP chief.

“I think, based on the games, it will solidify the coaches’ minds of the final 12,” said Panlilio.

vuukle comment

AL PANLILIO

FIBA

FIBA WORLD CUP

FIBA WORLD CUP 2023

GILAS

KAI SOTTO

SBP

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