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2024 Summer Olympics

Kai Sotto a game-time decision: ‘Hoping to feel good enough to play’


Kai Sotto’s availability for Gilas Pilipinas Men’s game against world No. 12 Brazil in the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament 2024-Riga has been the hot topic over the past 24 hours.

On Friday morning (Manila time), team manager Richard del Rosario provided a positive update, stating that the x-ray results for Sotto did not show any rib fractures.

Twelve hours later, the 7-foot-3 big man joined Gilas in their practice at Arena Riga.

The 22-year-old Koshigaya import told Basketnews that his abdomen still hurts, limiting his participation during the session.

“It does hurt a lot, but I still tried to practice. I didn’t do a lot,” he told Mindaugas Bertys.

“Hopefully, it feels better tomorrow. It’s a game-time decision if I’m going to play. Breathing is hard, and yeah, that’s it.”

During Gilas’ game against Georgia on Thursday evening, naturalized Georgian Joe Thomasson attempted to steal the ball from Sotto. However, when he missed, he collided with the young Filipino, causing him to fall to the floor.

As Sotto went down, Goga Bitedze, standing at 6-foot-11 and weighing 250 pounds, landed on his abdomen area.

Sotto cringed in pain after the incident, which occurred with 6:42 left in the second quarter.

2024-FIBA-OQT-Gilas-vs-Georgia-Kai-Sotto Kai Sotto a game-time decision: 'Hoping to feel good enough to play' 2024 Summer Olympics Basketball Gilas Pilipinas News  - philippine sports news

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“It happened so fast,” Sotto recalled.

“When I fell down, the big guy just landed on top of me, and then I felt a click on my right rib, and I couldn’t breathe for a couple of minutes,” the player admitted.

“It just happened so fast. It’s like a big bone bruise. It’s pretty painful.”

Losing Sotto for the Brazil game would be a huge blow to Gilas’ Paris dreams.

#ReadMore  Kai Sotto's maturity, addition of shooters to play huge role in Batang Gilas campaign

Brazil boasts three 6-foot-9 bigs in Cristiano Felicio, Lucas Dias, and, of course, Bruno Caboclo.

Sotto hopes that by Saturday morning, he will feel better – and ready to carry the Philippines’ dreams on his shoulders once more.

“Yeah, I think so. Hopefully, I wake up feeling good, with my ribs in good shape tomorrow, so I can play.”

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