Don’t expect to see Kai Sotto that much for Adelaide during the ongoing 2021 NBL Blitz tournament.
36ers head coach CJ Bruton is making sure that the 7-foot-3 Filipino will not suffer injury once the real NBL season begins. Their first game is on December 5 when they face Brisbane.
“I don’t think he won’t be playing much between now and the start of the season but that’s all just building towards him being healthy,” Bruton said. “Him being 19-years-old and a kid, there’s a lot of things that you need to do to look after yourself.
“We are just making sure that we have the best Kai available for game one and moving forward.
“Caring for every player as if their your kid and your prized possession, you want to make sure he is as healthy possible,” he continued as they sat out Sotto against Perth last Tuesday.
Sotto was impressive in his Adelaide debut last Sunday, tallying seven points, five rebounds, and a block against Cairns.
And it included a thunderous jam that impressed even Bruton.
For the six-time NBL champion, Sotto has been as good as advertised.
“I love what he brings. I love the kid.
“He has been brought up the right way, taught the game the right way. It shows by his character within the group,” Bruton remarked about the son of former PBA pro Ervin. “His movement and play on the floor is stuff I have been expected and seen. He is everything that he is cracked out to be. We will see a lot of great things in the season.”
Come the season itself, Bruton expects a lot from Sotto, who will back up Isaac Humphries.
And the American-Australian coach believes that Sotto will be a huge part of Adelaide’s push in ending the franchise’s 19-year title drought.
“To be honest, I haven’t put in restriction unless it comes back to me that this is how long he has to play. I love the kid – I think he has a chance for him to play significant minutes. And he has shown it in practice, managing and making sure that all the pieces are available,” he said.
“I think he will be able to contribute to our success now and moving forward.”