TEAM Pilipinas coach Yeng Guiao was glad to see Kai Sotto's fighting qualities in the teenager's first-ever tune-up game with the senior national team on Sunday night.
Sotto, 16, scored two points in about five minutes in his debut for Team Pilipinas in its 71-60 loss to Lebanon at the Meralco gym on Sunday night - his first since being named to the 20-man pool by Guiao.
Despite the limited playing time, Guiao was happy with what he saw from the 7-foot-2 prospect, especially after seeing him attempt the dunk against Lebanon big man Ater Majok right in his first attempt.
“I’m pretty happy,” Guiao said. “Hindi naman siya nagkalat. He actually tried to dunk over the big man of the other team. He is a fighter. He doesn’t get intimidated.”
Guiao said Sotto stood his ground against Lebanon’s bigs despite his lean frame, which the national coach he expects to develop in the next few years.
“Ang kulang lang talaga niya is ‘yung maturity ng katawan niya. Mahina pa siya. Siguro when his body develops a little bit more in one to two years, he will develop the strength together with the quickness,” said Guiao.
“Hindi naman siya mabagal pero puwede pa siyang bumilis. Puwede pa siyang lumakas,” said Guiao.
The multi-titled coach said he expects Sotto to develop the body that will make him a force to be reckoned with for the national team in the future,
“Sa height niya, okay na ‘yung height niya. Ayoko na nga siyang tumangkad eh. Gusto ko lumapad na lang siya,” said Guiao.