Kai Sotto was formally introduced by Hiroshima to the Japanese media on Thursday.
But of course, the question Filipinos have is whether he will join Gilas Pilipinas in the 2023 FIBA World Cup.
Gilas head coach and program director Chot Reyes raised the concern last Monday after the nationals played their final game in the 2023 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers.
“We are not ruling out the possibility of going out and looking for another 6-10, 6-11 guy,” said Reyes.
“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.”
Sotto missed the final window as he and fellow young buck Carl Tamayo needed to head to Japan to clear their final hurdles before joining their respective teams for the final stretch of the 2022-23 B.League season.
The 20-year-old though stressed that he remains committed to the national cause.
“I mean I don’t think so, because I mean, as I said, we gotta say, it’s the second half of the season already, the season will end probably in May,” he said.
“I don’t think it will hinder my national team commitment so I’ll be here two, three months, give it all my best here, and whatever happens after that, happens.”
Sotto’s management has made it known that they are planning to send Kai to the NBA Summer League this year — an opportunity he missed after going undrafted in the 2022 NBA Draft.
The Las Vegas event will take place from July 7-17.
The 7-foot-3 big man said that the only thing he is thinking of now is how he can give the Dragonflies their first championship.
“As I said it depends. Right now, I’m just focused on these next three months with the team, help this team make the playoffs, clinch the championship and whatever happens after that, happens.”