Kai Sotto proud to rep the Philippines wherever he goes

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Mar 28, 2019 03:30 PM
Kai Sotto proud to rep the Philippines wherever he goes
Kai Sotto has been tapped as ambassador for "Maging Magiting" - a program that hopes to raise 3,000 flags in public schools all over the country.

At just 15-years-old, Kai Sotto was already the main man for Batang Gilas.

Two years later, the now 7-foot-2 prodigy is the main reason Filipinos are hopeful they will have a kababayan in the NBA.

Of course, Sotto only acknowledged the heavy burden that has fallen on his still developing shoulders. "Siyempre, laging nandyan yung pressure, pero nasu-surround naman ako nang mabubuting tao. Sila yung nagbibigay ng lakas sa akin kaya lahat ng ginagawa ko, alay ko sa kanila at para na rin sa buong bansa," he said in his sendoff program hosted by Ayala Foundation, Thursday at Ayala Museum in Makati.

If there's a promising prospect who can carry that burden, and may very well even run with it, it's the towering teen who put up per game counts of 25.1 points, 13.9 rebounds, 3.4 assists, and 2.6 blocks for Ateneo de Manila High School en route to the UAAP 81 Juniors MVP.

And that is exactly why the Ayala Foundation, together with Chooks-to-Go, tapped Sotto as ambassador for "Maging Magiting" - a program that hopes to raise 3,000 flags in public schools all over the country.

For Chooks-to-Go president Ronald Mascarinas, there is no one better to be the face of a nationalism advocacy than a full-blooded Filipino who will proudly wear the flag wherever he goes. "Kai is not a good ambassador for this, he is a perfect ambassador. Perfect in the sense that he will be representing the aspirations of a lot of Filipinos," he shared.

He then continued, "He's taking on a lot of responsibility to seize that opportunity and I'm just so happy that Kai is willing to take that opportunity."

Whatever happens from here on out, Mascarinas believes that Sotto has already made a difference, and will continue doing so. As he put it, "Napakaraming Pilipinong sumubok mag-NBA. Now, we're pinning our hopes on Kai na he breaks the glass ceiling in the NBA."

He then continued, "For basketball players in the country, Kai opens up a lot of opportunities as well kasi when a Filipino does well abroad, then scouts will look at the Philippines as a possible place to look for talent."

In the end, the Philippines' towering teen is well aware that a tall task is ahead of him.

At the same time, though, he is nothing but happy to be representing his country and his countrymen all throughout. "Sobrang proud ako as a Filipino and na dadalhin ko yun sa ibang bansa," he expressed.

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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