KAI Sotto has rejoined Gilas Pilipinas in time for the third window of the 2021 Fiba Asia Cup qualifiers in Clark.
Just days after clearing quarantine, the 7-foot-4 prodigy joined the national team when the hosts arrived at Quest Hotel on Sunday afternoon.
"We're hoping that he'll be able to play with the rest of the team.," said Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) special assistant to the president Ryan Gregorio.
There's still no guarantee, though, if the 19-year-old Sotto will be activated for any of Gilas' games, especially after only recently clearing his mandatory 14-day quarantine.
"He is still evaluated in terms of match fitness, based on my discussion with coach Tab Baldwin," said Gregorio.
"We want to make sure that we are not compromising his health. He has not done a lot basketball in the last few days and we want to immerse him slowly. We want to make sure knows the defensive scheme of things. Our concepts on offense and our strategies and our scouting and all. Of course on the top of it is building chemistry."
Gilas is set to play Korea on Wednesday, before facing off against Indonesia on Friday. The Philippine team wraps up its assignment next Sunday with another game against the Koreans.
At 3-0, the Filipinos only need one more win in Group A to formally qualify for the continental tilt in August in Indonesia.
Sotto can certainly learn a lot from this experience, battling against the likes of Korea's naturalized player Ra Gun-A and Indonesia's Lester Prosper.
But as of now, the SBP has yet to make a final decision on his availability, with the federation fully aware that it can make lineup changes for all three games.
"As to whether we will see him right away, I will give a more definite answer in the next two days. But we're happy that he's out and with the team," said Gregorio.
"We're really going to have a hard time hiding a 7-3 guy, but that is why exactly we're really excited to have him in his Gilas Pilipinas team."