Towering teen Kai Sotto will miss first Gilas 2023 training because of school
ABS-CBN Sports on Jan 07, 2018 08:32 PM
Because Kai Sotto has already been penciled in for Gilas Pilipinas in 2023, it's easy to forget that he's only a high school student
Kai Sotto’s rise from little-known Jr. NBA prospect to highly-touted hope of Philippine basketball has been nothing short of meteoric.
With his inclusion to the preliminary pool of Gilas Pilipinas in the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup, Sotto has indeed lived up to the hype of being the hope of Philippine basketball.
No matter how meteoric his rise has been, though, the 15-year-old is still in awe at where he finds himself now. “Na-surprise pa rin naman po akong malagay sa pool,” he told reporters after he and father Ervin watched the matchup between Phoenix and Globalport on Sunday at the Araneta Coliseum.
Of course, Sotto is nothing but grateful for the opportunity to once again wear the flag – by then, not only for Batang Gilas, but Gilas itself. “Siyempre, thankful akong makasama ako dun at maasahan ninyo na papagtrabahuan ko talaga yung role na yun sa team,” he said.
Don’t expect him to be there when the preliminary pool convenes for the very first time on Monday, however. “Hindi po e kasi may pasok pa,” the Ateneo de Manila High School standout said through chuckles.
Although his meteoric rise only entails greater expectations, Sotto said he takes solace in the fact that he has five full years to get ready. “Wala naman po akong nararamdamang pressure kasi para sa akin, five years pa naman yun kaya mapapagtrabahuan ko nang maayos,” he said.
Father Ervin is of the same mind – while also assuring Filipinos that he himself will ensure that his sensation of a son will be well worthy of a spot on the national team. “Lagi ko sa kanya, keep working hard lang. Darating naman tayo dun sa 2023 kaya we take it day by day lang,” he said.
Another thing for sure is that the younger Sotto has already made the Sotto patriarch proud. “Para sa kanya, happy ako sobra kasi kahit naman sino, kahit ako siguro, gusto maglaro doon,” he expressed.