BOCAUE – Though there have been ongoing debates on whether Jordan Clarkson or Justin Brownlee should be the naturalized player for Gilas Pilipinas’ FIBA World Cup campaign, there’s another question the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas that should be raised, according to head coach Chot Reyes.
Will Kai Sotto suit up for Gilas come the Worlds?
Reyes had been vocal in his disappointment about the 20-year-old, 7-foot-3 big man missing Window 6 of the Asian Qualifiers.
Sotto, whose stint with Adelaide in the National Basketball League ended early this month, opted to go to Hiroshima for his upcoming campaign in the B.League.
Sotto’s camp has also bared plans that the second generation cager might also be headed to the NBA Summer League which will most likely coincide with the World Cup.
That is why Reyes bared that there is also a plan to naturalize one more player – a big man who can be Gilas’ rock if Sotto does not join Gilas this August.
“We are not ruling out the possibility of going out and looking for another 6-10, 6-11 guy.
“With all the uncertainty regarding the Kai Sotto situation, if he’s not going to make himself available, we have to think about that as well. That’s all part of the planning that’s on our plate right now,” he bared after Gilas’ 91-90 loss to Jordan at the Philippine Arena here.
After the Southeast Asian Games in Cambodia, Reyes and the SBP will only have a few days break before leaving the country with the entire pool for a camp and a series of tune-up games and pocket tournaments.
Reyes hopes that Sotto will be there the entire time and not arrive just a few weeks before the World Cup. Back in the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers, Sotto only arrived two weeks before the Clark bubble.
“You can’t just come and show up and be on the team right? Doesn’t matter who you are. You have to be able to be part of the preparation. So, that’s part of it. It’s not just being available two weeks before or all that. It’s not going to happen. The plan is we are going to be out June to middle of July. We have to put in the preparation time,” said Reyes.