June Mar Fajardo on Kai: "Baka ako pa turuan nun eh"

Paul Kennedy Lintag on May 15, 2020 11:48 AM
June Mar Fajardo on Kai:
Kai is yet to make the senior team, however, many are already looking at him to be a key foundation piece for Gilas especially for the next FIBA World Cup in 2023. (FIBA)

Kai Sotto's next step on his quest to become the first homegrown Filipino talent in the NBA is skipping college and instead go play in the NBA G-League.

The 7'2" teen phenom will team up in a G-League select team filled with 5-star recruits led by Fil-Am Jalen Green.

[Related: Meet Kai Sotto's G League teammates]

While is NBA dream is alive and well, Kai Sotto could also be well on his way to become the next face of Gilas Pilipinas.

Kai is yet to make the senior team, however, many are already looking at him to be a key foundation piece for Gilas especially for the next FIBA World Cup in 2023.

"Sobrang ganda ng training ni Kai ngayon," six-time PBA MVP June Mar Fajardo said.

"Baka ako pa turuan nun eh," he added.

Fajardo made the comment about Kai and Gilas during the PBA Kamustahan session online.

Aside from Kai, another former Ateneo star is expected to lead Gilas into the future.

Just like Sotto, Thirdy Ravena is choosing to take his basketball talents abroad. Thirdy has his eyes on Japan's B.League Division 1 as he gets the ball rolling on his career post-UAAP.

Thirdy could be the perfect running mate for Kai for Gilas teams in the future.

"Thirdy is there, too," one-time PBA MVP and many-time national team member Asi Taulava said.

"He's coming in. Thirdy and Kai, I think they're going to be the one or two who's going to be carrying the [national] team," he added.

Both Kai and Thirdy have done well in recent national team stints.

Ravena was the star for Gilas when the national team opened the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers back in February against Indonesia.

Kai has been the longtime anchor for Batang Gilas in many international tournaments, including the world championships.

With their exposure abroad, sky must be the limit for a future Gilas team bannered by the likes of Kai and Thirdy. Names like AJ Edu, CJ Perez, Kiefer Ravena, Kobe Paras, Isaac Go, and even Jordan Clarkson can't be forgotten as well.

"We got a lot guys coming in. I'm excited," Taulava said.

"There's a lot of prospects out there. We just can't be closed minded about it and just be focus about it. This generation the pool is a lot bigger," he added.

 

Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8

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