The Gilas are prepared if Kai Sotto doesn’t play in the FIBA World Cup

Feb 28, 2023

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MANILA, Philippines – While there have been continuous discussions about whether Jordan Clarkson or Justin Brownlee should represent Gilas Pilipinas at the FIBA World Cup, head coach Chot Reyes believes that another issue should be brought up regarding the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas. 

Will Kai Sotto wear a Gilas uniform when the Worlds begin? 

Reyes had expressed his displeasure loudly over the 7-foot-3 big man’s failure to appear in Window 6 of the Asian Qualifiers at the age of 20. 

Sotto chose to move to Hiroshima for his upcoming B.League season after his time with Adelaide in the National Basketball League came to an end earlier this month.

The second generation cager may also be attending the NBA Summer League, which will most likely coincide with the World Cup, according to plans revealed by Sotto’s camp. 

Reyes revealed that if Sotto does not join Gilas in August, there is also a plan to naturalize another player, a big man who can serve as the team’s rock.

Following Gilas’ narrow 91-90 defeat to Jordan at the Philippine Arena, the team’s head coach, Chot Reyes, has expressed concern regarding the uncertainty surrounding the availability of basketball prodigy Kai Sotto. Reyes stated that if Sotto is not able to make himself available for selection, the team will need to adjust their planning accordingly. The issue of Sotto’s availability is currently being considered by the Gilas team management, who are in the process of preparing for a training camp and a series of tune-up games and pocket tournaments after the Southeast Asian Games in Cambodia. Despite the tight schedule, the team is determined to make the necessary preparations for the upcoming tournaments, and Reyes emphasized the importance of being adaptable in the face of any unforeseen circumstances.

According to Gilas head coach, Chot Reyes, it is essential for Kai Sotto to be present for the entire duration of the team’s training and preparation, rather than just a few weeks before the World Cup. Sotto had only joined the team two weeks before the Clark bubble during the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers. Reyes emphasized that being a part of the team requires full commitment to the preparation process, regardless of the player’s reputation. The team has plans for training and preparation from June to the middle of July, and it is crucial for Sotto to be present throughout this period. Reyes stressed the importance of adequate preparation time, stating that it is necessary for the team’s success in the tournament. Gilas is currently making necessary preparations for the upcoming training camp, pocket tournaments, and tune-up games after the Southeast Asian Games in Cambodia.

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