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    Asi and Co. see Kai Sotto, Thirdy Ravena as cornerstones of next Gilas batch

    May 18, 2020
    PHOTO: jerome ascaño

    EVEN at the peak of his powers, June Mar Fajardo said he is in no position to give Kai Sotto any advice as the latter embarks on his NBA G League journey.

    "Sobrang ganda ng training ni Kai ngayon. Baka ako pa turuan niya eh," said the San Miguel center during PBA Kamustahan online session that also featured Magnolia's Marc Pingris, NLEX's Asi Taulava, TNT's Poy Erram, and Rain or Shine's Beau Belga.

    Sotto became the first international player to sign with the NBA's new professional path, joining top high school prospects Jalen Green, Isaiah Todd, and Daishen Nix. He hopes this road will bring him closer to his dream of becoming the first homegrown Filipinp player to make it to the NBA.

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    But the 18-year-old beanpole wasn't the lone player these veteran bigs had their eyes on in terms of the future of Gilas Pilipinas, with Taulava seeing Thirdy Ravena as a future cornerstone of the national team.

    "Thirdy is there, too. He's coming in," said the 2003 PBA MVP.

    Ravena has already been included in the Gilas Pilipinas pool and suited up for the Philippines in its game against Indonesia in the 2021 Fiba Asia Cup qualifiers last February.

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    For Taulava, having Ravena and Sotto as building blocks only sets the Philippines up for a brighter future.

    "Thirdy and Kai, I think they're going to be the one or two who's going to be carrying the team," continued the 47-year-old banger as he expressed excitement on the budding talent that the Philippines will have for future international competitions.


      "We got a lot of guys coming in and I'm excited. There's a lot of prospects out there. We just can't be close-minded about it and just be focused about it. This generation, the pool is a lot bigger."

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      PHOTO: jerome ascaño
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