Kai Sotto has expressed his commitment to joining Gilas Pilipinas for the Clark window of the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers.
The 18-year-old will not report to Ignite’s restart of training camp this week. Instead, he will fly back to the Philippines to join Gilas in Inspire Sports Academy.
“I’m heading home soon. Sobrang excited ako na binigyan ng opportunity para makapaglaro sa Gilas ngayong February window,” said Sotto.
“Nagpapasalamat ako sa lahat ng sumusuporta at naniniwala sa along pangarap na makapaglaro para sa bayan at sa tamang panahon, sa NBA.”
This would also mean that the 7-foot-3 big man will miss the majority of the G League season, which tips off on February 8 at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Florida.
Sotto was supposed to be part of Ignite that will face 17 other G League clubs for the 2021 season of the second league.
Last month, Sotto affirmed his commitment to Gilas saying, “I am officially joining Gilas. I’m looking forward to joining my idols in the PBA and in college.”
Ignite head coach Brian Shaw responded by saying that the G League will offer better competition for Sotto.
“I still believe that the competition he will be playing here in the bubble will be better competition than what he will be playing there.”
Gilas will face off against South Korea on Feb. 18 and 22 and battle Indonesia on the 20th in Clark.
Ignite, on the other hand, play a total of 17 elimination round games. The developmental team will also be eligible to advance to the playoffs and contend for a championship during this non-traditional shortened season.