Kai Sotto will now be tested at a much higher level of competition.
The 7-foot-2 16-year-old has been included by coach Yeng Guiao in the Gilas Pilipinas’ pool for the FIBA World Cup Qualifiers’ fifth window from November 30 to December 3 against Kazakhstan and Iran, respectively.
That came as a bit of a surprise considering how young Sotto is, but Guiao justified his decision, saying that the inclusion to the pool that also has the likes of June Mar Fajardo and Greg Slaughter will only help the young star.
“With Kai kasi we have nothing to lose, we have everything to gain. I’d like to see him play against the big boys and be able to accelerate his development,” said Guiao during the Gilas pool announcement on Tuesday evening.
“And who knows? Baka gulatin tayo, baka makakuha siya ng spot sa Top Twelve.”
Moreover, Guiao believes that this is now the time to expose the Ateneo Blue Eaglets slotman to a higher level of competition, as Sotto – according to Guiao – has been dominating the high school basketball and Under-18 scenes.
“We’re just trying to make use of the opportunity for him to be developed and be able to upgrade the competition he’s been playing in kasi dominado niya masyado yung high school, dominado niya rin yung Under-18,” Guiao said.
“So now maybe it’s time for him to try the big boys.”
This year alone, the 16-year-old has proven that he can play in a much-higher age group as he averaged 12.7 points and 8.7 rebounds during the 2018 FIBA Under-18 Asian Championship.
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