ATENEO coach Reggie Varilla would like to believe the school prepared Kai Sotto for the future in the three years the 7-foot-2 prodigy spent in the Blue Eaglets' nest.
Speaking on Tuesday during the send-off party for Sotto hosted by Chooks-to-Go, the youthful mentor said he is happy to see the 16-year-old center spread his wings.
"I'm not a fortune teller, but we certainly hope we did out part. Happy kami na natulungan namin siya to develop this early," he said.
Sotto has had a decorated run in Katipunan, winning the Rookie of the Year back in Season 79, leading Ateneo to the Season 80 title where he was adjudged the Finals MVP, and eventually winning the Season 81 MVP award.
Varilla takes pride in having coached Sotto from the moment he moved to Ateneo from St. Francis of Assisi to his final season before heading overseas.
"Yung history namin when he first played for Ateneo, doon siya sa team ko muna when I was handling the development team. Yung unang time na nagsuot siya ng Ateneo jersey and last time na nagsuot siya ng Ateneo jersey, kami yung magkasama," he said.
Varilla only wishes Sotto nothing but the best as he embarks on this new journey.
"Ang lagi ko lang sinasabi sa kanya is if you have a dream, chase it for your own reasons, not for anyone else's," the soft-spoken mentor said.
"It won't be easy. May araw na magiging masaya, may araw na mahirap, pero ang isipin mo lang we're all here, we're praying for you. Don't be pressured, don't play for us, play for yourself."