Kai Sotto's greatest performances in the UAAP Jrs.
Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on May 18, 2020 02:45 PM
(Photos by Arvin Lim)
When he was just 15-years-old, Kai Sotto recorded the first triple-double in the high school ranks since 2003.
Not only that, he did it on the biggest stage and under the brightest lights he had been on at that point.
With 22 points, 16 rebounds, and 11 blocks, the 7-foot-2 tantalizing talent lifted Ateneo de Manila High School to an 86-70 Game 1 triumph over Nazareth School of National University in the UAAP 80 Juniors Basketball Finals.
The Blue Eaglets needed each and every one of those as, early on, they found themselves down, 0-8, and then, 17-30.
Come the third quarter, however, Sotto stood strong and got together with SJ Belangel, Jason Credo, and Dave Ildefonso for a white-hot 33-5 blast that erased the double-digit deficit and erected a 50-35 advantage for the blue and white.
They wouldn't look back from there to move one win away from the championship.
That power performance proved, once and for all, that the son of PBA veteran Ervin Sotto was the real deal.
And look where he is now, about to see action in the G League and only one step away from the NBA.
Right after that game, Ateneo was nothing but proud of its towering teen who answered the call of his head coach. "Actually, he (has been) playing subpar. Maybe, it's because he's not in shape, pero me and Kai, we have a personal relationship," then-mentor Joe Silva said.
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.”
Apparently, in the eyes of the Blue Eaglets, Sotto's per game counts of 12.9 points in 57.4 percent shooting, 11.5 rebounds, and 3.9 blocks before the Finals left much room for improvement.
And in Game 1, he indeed answered the call en route to a championship and a Finals MVP.
At 15-years-old, he had already been making history - so it's no surprise he's only continuing to do so now until the foreseeable future.
Here are Kai Sotto's other power performances from his time as an Ateneo Blue Eaglet:
Career-high 36 points, 11 rebounds, 3 blocks, and 3 assists as Ateneo def. the University of the Philippines Integrated School, 77-60, in the UAAP 81 first round
27 points, 22 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 blocks as Ateneo def. Far Eastern University-Diliman, 77-61, in the UAAP 81 second round
26 points, 20 rebounds, and 3 blocks as Ateneo def. De La Salle Zobel, 88-59, in the UAAP 81 second round
26 points, 25 rebounds, and 4 blocks as Ateneo bowed to National U, 53-64, in the UAAP 81 Finals Game 2
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