A GLIMPSE of the future for Gilas Pilipinas?
According to Gilas Pilipinas coaches, Kai Sotto held his own against Ange Kouame inside the national team bubble at Inspire Sports Academy in Calamba back in February, giving a glimpse of how much he has improved.
It's a mystery for everyone then, but not much now after an 11-second clip released by Puso Pilipinas - which showed that the 18-year-old battling Kouame in the post in one of the Gilas scrimmages there and even got a hook shot in.
It's a snippet of what Gilas coaches saw first hand inside the bubble and a brief proof that their assessments were spot on.
"I saw Kai enjoying himself," said Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) program director Tab Baldwin in a previous interview.
"I saw Kai proud to play even though it's a practice uniform, proud to wear a Filipino uniform. I saw him impress in practice and I asked him, 'How do you feel that you're one of the best players inside the court at 18?' And he said, 'It's a great feeling to think that I come back and be able to contribute to the Gilas team. I'm not just an 18 year old and somewhere in the future, might play.'"
Gilas deputy Norman Black, in another old interview, added, "He's definitely a lot better than he was a year ago before he left, which tells us that the US training did him a world of good and he only needs to keep doing what he's doing to get to the NBA."
There's still much question on where Sotto's next step will be, but one thing's clear: he truly is an asset for Philippine basketball moving forward.