No doubt about it, Kai Sotto was ready for his close up

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Feb 23, 2018 07:05 PM
No doubt about it, Kai Sotto was ready for his close up
Kai Sotto made history in Ateneo's Game 1 win in the Finals

22 points. 16 rebounds. 11 blocks.

That was the first triple-double in the high school ranks since 2003.

Who else but Juniors phenom Kai Sotto to make history in Ateneo de Manila High School’s Game 1 win in the Finals of the UAAP 80 Juniors Basketball Tournament.

The 15-year-old wunderkind almost single-handedly erased Nazareth School of National University and its strong start on Friday.

Of course, court general SJ Belangel was also there to steady the ship all the way to another win for the Blue Eaglets, but it was still Sotto who, without a doubt, towered over the competition.

While the Blue Eaglets are one win away from claiming the championship – and perhaps more importantly, a season sweep – he still has many more games to tower over the competition.

Katipunan’s towering teen, in fact, is just in Grade 9 and will have three more years in the high school ranks.

And so, be ready for even more triple-doubles.

After all, that was the real Kai Sotto we have just seen.

Asked about the historic effort from his prized prospect, Ateneo head coach Joe Silva answered, “Actually, he (has been) playing subpar. Maybe, it’s because he’s not in shape, pero me and Kai, we have a personal relationship.”

He then continued, “I text him, he texts me and he texted me, ‘Coach, abangan niyo. Eto na, makikita niyo yung totoong Kai Sotto.’ True enough, he proved to be a man of his word.”

Now, if the version of the Blue Eaglet big man who averaged 12.9 points in 57.4 percent shooting, 11.5 rebounds, and 3.9 blocks before Game 1 was not the real Kai Sotto, the rest of the UAAP should be frightened.

Even more so if the real Kai Sotto is this Kai Sotto who is having fun while dominating.

Usually stoic, the 7-foot-1 center was showing emotion for many of his dunks and blocks in the game. “Nilabas ko yung emotion ko kasi excited ako e. Nilalabas ko lang para mawala,” he told reporters post-game.

Make no mistake about it, the real Kai Sotto is ready for his close up and many more.


Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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