Kai Sotto will not be part of Gilas Pilipinas in their next two tournaments — the King Abdullah Cup and the FIBA Asia Cup.
Sotto’s camp has already notified the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas that the 19-year-old has already pledged his commitment to his National Basketball League-Australia team Adelaide 36ers for the coming months.
“We were told that Kai would be fulfilling his commitment with Adelaide,” said SBP Special Assistant to the President Ryan Gregorio.
“His management team (East West Private) informed us that Kai is bound to join his new team as soon as possible.”
The 7-foot-3 big man was pivotal in Gilas’ campaigns in the Asia Cup Qualifiers and the Olympic Qualifying Tournament-Belgrade.
In three games played for Gilas in Clark, he normed 9.3 points, 7.0 rebounds, 1.3 assists, and 1.0 steals per game.
A few weeks later, he put up numbers of 9.0 points, 4.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists, and 1.5 steals in Serbia.
Adelaide, on the other hand, is set to begin its buildup for the 2021-22 NBL Season. Sotto signed with the 36ers last May.
With this, the federation and Gilas are moving forward with their preparations.
“With this development, we are moving forward with our preparations without Kai,” said Gregorio.
Currently, there are 17 players in the Calambubble, namely Thirdy Ravena, Matt Nieto, Allyn Bulanadi, Rey Suerte, Dave Ildefonso, Angelo Kouame, Carl Tamayo, Isaac Go, Dwight Ramos, Geo Chiu, Jordan Heading, Justine Baltazar, Mike Nieto, RJ Abarrientos, SJ Belangel, William Navarro, and Tzaddy Rangel.
Jaydee Tungcab and Kemark Carino have already left the bubble last Tuesday due to injuries.
Only 15 players will fly to Amman for the King’s Cup.