Jalen Green on Kai Sotto: 'He's gonna be really good'
Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Mar 20, 2019 08:16 PM
Jalen Green got the better of Kai Sotto in their matchup in the 2019 NBTC Nationals Supreme 16 (Photo courtesy of 2019 NBTC Nationals)
It was an early clash of the titans in the third day of the 2019 Chooks-to-Go NBTC League National Finals presented by SM.
In the third day of the tournament and with 16 teams still in the running, Ateneo de Manila High School led by Kai Sotto, the no. 1 ranked high school player in the Philippines, met FilAm Sports led by Jalen Green, the no. 1 ranked high school player in the US.
Right from tip-off on Wednesday at the MOA Arena, the tantalizing talents didn’t disappoint and put on a show as the Blue Eaglets and FilAm Sports went toe-to-toe.
And then, early in the second quarter, Green stopped the show with a slam dunk over Sotto.
Asked about it afterward, the 17-year-old swingman answered, "We're both making a name for ourselves out here. Kai is already ranked number one so when I came out here and saw the opportunity to dunk on him, I just went up."
From then on, the Fil-Ams wouldn’t be threatened and cruised to a 90-67 win that sends them back to the Round of 8.
And so, Green evened his personal matchup with Sotto in the NBTC, 1-1. Last year, Sotto's Team Hustle bested Green and Team Heart in the All-Star Game.
A year later, the Fil-Am, who is the top prospect in the 2020 recruitment class in the US NCAA, is nothing but glad to see that the Filipinos' pride is getting better and better. As he put it, "Kai's young, he's got a lot of potential, but he's still got a lot of growing up to do."
He then continued, "You can see that his body is not caught up to the game yet so he's still got a lot to go. I think he's gonna be really good and he just needs to keep working and getting stronger."
And who knows, if Sotto does just that, the next time he meets Green may very well be in the NBA.
Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.