Ervin Sotto could be the happiest dad right now.
Ervin couldn’t be any more prouder of his son Kai, especially now that the 16-year-old basketball prodigy has just been included in Gilas Pilipinas’ 20-man pool for the upcoming fifth window of the FIBA World Cup 2019 Asian Qualifiers.
Head coach Yeng Guiao explained Kai’s addition to one of the best national team pools ever assembled, saying that this is now a great opportunity to develop the prodigy highly touted to be the future of Philippine basketball.
“Siyempre naman sobrang proud,” said Ervin, who is part of Guiao’s staff in the NLEX Road Warriors.
“Siyempre dream mo rin yun nung naging player ka. Kay Kai, para sa akin mabilis talaga yung mga nangyayari sa kanila. Blessed lang talaga kami tsaka blessed din siya na dumarating sa kanya yung mga ganung opportunity.”
With Sotto in the fold, he will have the luxury to learn from the country’s best big men, such as fellow seven-footer Greg Slaughter, Gilas mainstay Japeth Aguilar, and of course, the reigning, four-time PBA MVP June Mar Fajardo.
And not only that – should he make it into the 12-man lineup that will face Kazakhstan and Iran on November 30 and December 3, Kai will be exposed to facing much more seasoned slotmen, such as Hamed Haddadi.
Ervin is fully aware that his son’s career is peaking fast. So as a father, he’s always telling Kai to keep on doing what he’s doing to avoid any missteps, which might be costly in the near future.
“Sabi ko ipagpatuloy niya pa rin yung mga ginagawa niya na practice – mga extra, individual workouts – kasi sabi ko sa kanya kung titignan mo, parang magsasaka ka, nagtatanim ka pa lang ngayon ng mga aanihin mo,” pointed out Ervin, himself a former PBA cager.
“Aanihin mo yan matagal pa. Ang sabi ko, yung mga tinanim mo dati inaani mo na yung konti ngayon. So ipagpatuloy mo pa rin yung mga tamang ginagawa mo para sa sarili mo.”
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