Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Tiebreaker Times
Filoil 2018 Gilas Cadets vs. UE – Sotto 2-0622
Filoil 2018 Gilas Cadets vs. UE – Sotto 2-0622

Basketball

What’s next for Kai Sotto?

Kai Sotto’s status with Ignite was sealed as early as the first day of the 2021 G League Season. 

Though Sotto’s no. 11 jersey had been selling over at the G League store for US$59.99, the player who wore the same number in the games was Donta Hall.

G-League-Ignite-Donta-Hall-x-Kai-Sotto What's next for Kai Sotto? Basketball Gilas Pilipinas News PBA  - philippine sports news

Moreover, the 18-year-old Filipino, who skipped the G League Season for Gilas’ postponed campaign in the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers, had a DNP – Inactive status during Ignite’s first game against Santa Cruz last February 11 (Manila time).

2021-gleague-ignite-def-bay What's next for Kai Sotto? Basketball Gilas Pilipinas News PBA  - philippine sports news

Against Oklahoma City two days later, Sotto’s named had been removed. And it had been the same ever since.2021-gleague-ignite-def-okc What's next for Kai Sotto? Basketball Gilas Pilipinas News PBA  - philippine sports news

Tuesday evening – exactly nine days since Sotto left the Philippines to return to the States – G League finally dropped the hammer.

KAI SOTTO UPDATE

NEW YORK, Feb 23, 2021 – NBA G League Ignite and international prospect Kai Sotto of the Philippines today announced the mutual decision that Sotto will not re-join Ignite. With the team’s permission, Sotto left Ignite in January to train with the Philippines National Team at the FIBA Asia Cup Qualifying Tournament in Qatar before that event was cancelled.

“Kai and the team both understood the challenges for him to rejoin Ignite given the current international travel constraints, quarantine times and health and safety protocols,” said NBA G League President Shareef Abdur-Rahim. “Kai will always be part of the extended Ignite family and we wish him continued success as he pursues his NBA dreams.”

The statement of the minor league was the definitive answer everyone was waiting for. But with that end, a myriad of questions came up.

#ReadMore  Guiao shows tough love to Lanete

The most common was:

What’s next for Kai Sotto?

Can Kai Sotto be a student-athlete again?

Batang-Gilas-vs.-FEU-Sotto-dunk-1081 What's next for Kai Sotto? Basketball Gilas Pilipinas News PBA  - philippine sports news

The answer is no.

When Sotto signed with Ignite last May 14, he essentially turned pro.

Gone are the interests from Division I schools Auburn, Georgia Tech, Kentucky, Nebraska, USC, and DePaul.

Can he go back to his roots and play for Ateneo in the UAAP then?

According to numerous UAAP league officials, they will also see and treat Sotto as a pro player, meaning he is no longer eligible to play in collegiate leagues here.

But by being a pro, the possibilities are endless for the 18-year-old.

What are the possibilities?

G-League-Ignite-Kai-Sotto-vs-Isaiah-Todd What's next for Kai Sotto? Basketball Gilas Pilipinas News PBA  - philippine sports news

Photo from G League Ignite

Leaving the G League does not mean that the NBA dream is over for Sotto. Though the probability is lower, it does not mean that it is impossible.

It will just take a little bit longer.

Sotto’s biggest takeaway from the G League is that he is now a professional basketball player. This means that he can now play in pro leagues all over the world.

Well, except the PBA, but more on that later.

NBL-Australia, European leagues, or even Japan’s B.League can be the next destinations for Sotto either as an import or a draftee.

The problem with those three leagues, though, is that their seasons have already begun or are about to end. Usually, pro basketball leagues that only have one tournament begin either during the fourth quarter of a calendar year or, in the case of NBL-Australia, in January.

Another stint with the G League is also possible, but the league won’t begin its 2021-22 season until later this year.

#ReadMore  Tab Baldwin envisions Gilas cadets training full-time all-year long

So what can Sotto do during that lull time?

Is Gilas still open for Kai Sotto?

Gilas-Practice-Nov-12-Fajardo-Sotto What's next for Kai Sotto? Basketball Gilas Pilipinas News PBA  - philippine sports news

As he awaits the opening of pro leagues worldwide, Sotto can come home and play for Gilas Pilipinas.

“He is always welcome to join our Gilas Pilipinas,” said Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas Special Assistant to the President Ryan Gregorio.

Unlike last year, Gilas has a lot on their slate this year.

FIBA will announce the date for the Clark window of the 2021 Asia Cup Qualifiers in a few days.

Besides this, Sotto can also join Gilas in their campaign in the 2021 PBA Philippine Cup, which begins in April.

This makes sense since Sotto now needs game experience, not just training sessions.

Being a full-time PBA player is out of the question, however, since a draft applicant must be at least 21 years old.

Yes, despite being a pro everywhere else in the world, Sotto still has to avail of a special guest license in order to play for Gilas in the PBA this year.

Written By

Tiebreaker Times Logo

You May Also Like

Basketball

Ken Holmqvist wants to honor his mother when he steps foot in the Philippine Basketball Association. The 6-foot-8 Fil-Norwegian will no longer carry his...

2021 FIBA Asia Cup

Clark will not just host Group A consisting of Gilas, South Korea, Indonesia, and Thailand in the final window of the 2021 FIBA Asia...

Basketball

Coach Yeng Guiao feels flattered to be PBA Chairman Ricky Vargas’ top choice as the mentor of the select team he dreams to see...

Basketball

In commemoration of Araw ng Kagitingan, PBA Chairman Ricky Vargas bared his vision for PBA Season 46, saying the league should take the initiative...

Basketball

Jio Jalalon became the center of online discussions Friday — but for the wrong reasons. His wife, Kristina, took to her Instagram and Facebook...

Basketball

Kiefer Ravena will once again wear jersey no. 15 for NLEX in the next PBA season. The 27-year-old has switched back to the number...

Basketball

The Samahang Basketball ng Pilipinas proudly named Jack Animam as its first-ever Women in Basketball Ambassador, Thursday afternoon.  With her stellar six-year collegiate career...

Basketball

‘Déjà vu.’ That’s how PBA Commissioner Wille Marcial described the league’s situation at present, as the ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has once again...

Advertisement