15-year-old Kai dedicates international debut to proud mama Sotto

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on May 14, 2017 06:00 PM
15-year-old Kai dedicates international debut to mama Sotto
TOWER OF POWER. Kai Sotto spent Mother's Day playing in his first international game.

A standout in the Jr. NBA in 2016, Kai Sotto now finds himself a standout in the SEABA Under-16 Championship in 2017.

In his first game for the Philippine national basketball team, the six-foot-11 towering teen did nothing but live up to the hype with 17 points, five rebounds, and three blocks on Sunday at the Araneta Coliseum.

Sotto, along with future Ateneo de Manila High School teammate Rence Padrigao, lifted Batang Gilas to a convincing victory to open their campaign. Satisfied with the effort of his wards, coach Mike Oliver said, “Okay na okay yung nilaro ni Kai at ni Forthsky. Na-control natin ang rebounds because of Kai then si Forths naman, nadala niya yung team sa offense and defense.”

Of course, present in the venue and only proud of how far their son has come were father Ervin, a former professional basketball player, and mother Pamela.

And an impressive debut on the international stage was already more than enough gift for Pamela Sotto on Mother’s Day.

This, even though for the first time, Kai will not be with his mother on Mother’s Day. “Gift ko to kay mama kasi ‘di rin kami masyado magkikita (ngayon). Hindi kami makakakain together today kasi kasama ko yung team,” he shared.

With the SEABA underway, the 15-year-old and his teammates are focused on the tournament – checked into a hotel and doing all things together.

Still, Kai can rest assured that his parents will always be watching him live and cheering him on. Asked what their reminders to him were, he answered, “Sinasabi lang nila lagi, ilaro lang yung laro ko, wag kong babaguhin. Tapos dagdagan ko lang yung effort ko.”

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