Ignite head coach Brian Shaw was fully supportive of Kai Sotto’s decision to join Gilas Pilipinas for the third window of the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers.
According to the five-time NBA champion, the G League will not hinder their players from representing their country in international competitions.
“One of the things we told them before these guys entered the program was that we’re not going to hold anybody back. We committed to our players who wanted to represent their country in that fashion,” said Shaw during a media availability session held early Thursday morning (Manila time).
“That was a decision that Kai and his team wanted. They thought it’s important for him, so we supported him in going to be part of that.”
Sotto was not alone in asking for leave from Ignite. Princepal Singh left their Walnut Creek bubble last November to play for India during the second window of the Qualifiers.
However, the timing of Sotto’s departure will be different from Singh’s. The G League season in Disneyworld Orlando will begin almost at the same time as the third window.
Ignite will play 15 games from February 10 to March 6. The single-elimination playoffs will be from March 8 to 11, on the other hand.
FIBA Asia has yet to announce the new host of Group A games and new tournament dates, if ever.
With the travel restrictions imposed by numerous countries due to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Shaw is unsure whether Sotto can still play a game in the G League this season.
“Depending on the timing of everything.
“Because he’s traveling internationally, the quarantine time could be a lot longer, so we don’t know how that’s going to play out when all is said and done in terms of him coming back and joining our team or not,” Shaw explained.
Still, Shaw wishes Sotto nothing but the best.
“We just wish him the best. We worked with him up until the point that he left. Hopefully, he’ll be able to go there and perform well.”