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Sotto fate still hangs

Ian Suyu



KAI Sotto is not yet sure of joining Gilas Pilipinas in the third window of the FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers. / PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF KAI SOTTO/FB

Kai Sotto’s bid to join Gilas Pilipinas remains hanging with barely few days left before seeing action in the third window of the FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers.

Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas special assistant to the president Ryan Gregorio yesterday said they have yet to decide on the fate of the 19-year-old slotman despite the injury bug nagging Gilas in the final stretch of their preparation.

“No update yet. We will share (the announcement) when ready,” Gregorio told the Daily Tribune yesterday.

At least three key players would be sidelined when the country hosts the final leg of the qualifiers from 16 to 20 June under a bubble setup in Clark.

Main gunners Matt Nieto, Dave Ildefonso and skipper Rey Suerte all suffered various injuries, throwing the game plan of head coach Jong Uichico and program director Tab Baldwin in disarray.

Still, there is no assurance that the United States-trained Sotto would see action as he has yet to wrap up his 10-day quarantine protocol before getting the green light to join the team on 14 June.

Uichico said they are keeping their fingers crossed.

“It’s a wait and see situation,” he said in a brief message.

In a recent interview, Sotto bared his excitement to represent the country before heading abroad to train with Adelaide 76ers in the National Basketball League of Australia.

“It’s a dream-come-true, it’s almost a no-brainer to have an opportunity to play for the men’s national team,” Sotto said.

“I can’t wait, I’m just excited to be with my teammates and my coaches and to play some games and win.”

“I’ve been waiting for this opportunity and now I have a chance to play, so I’ll just keep on working.”