KAI Sotto said he was ready for the physicality from opponents in the Seaba Under-16 Championship where Batang Gilas is eyeing no less than the championship while playing in front of a home crowd.
Sotto, who turned 15 three days ago, was impressive in his first game as a member of the Philippine youth team, finishing with 17 points, five rebounds, and three blocks in a 108-42 win over Singapore.
The 6-foot-11 son of former PBA cager Ervin Sotto said expected opponents to be physical against him, considering his lean frame.
“Siguro ineexpect ko na rin na maging physical sila sa akin,” said the soft-spoken prodigy. “’Yun ‘yung parang unang unang sasabihin ng coach nila kapag babantayan ako.”
“Buti tinulungan ako ng mga teammates ko. Binigyan ako ng kumpiyansa at tinulungan nila ako sa court para maging madali ang trabaho,” Sotto said.
Sotto said he also got pieces of advice from his father before his Seaba debut.
“Huling nagkita kami nung last practice namin. Ang sabi niya, laro ko lang ‘yug laro mo. Wag mo babaguhuin, dagdagan mo pa yung effort mo, tsaka bigay mo ‘yung effort mo para tulungan mo ‘yung team mo manalo,” said Sotto.
The Ateneo Blue Eaglet, who won the UAAP Rookie of the Year award last season, said he is gladdened by Batang Gilas' impressie start.
“Masaya ako sa first game na maganda ‘yung start namin. Lahat kami nag-enjoy at maganda ‘yung laro namin kaya sobrang excited pa ako sa next games pa namin, lalo na alam ko na ganito ‘yung tinatakbo namin.
“Dadagdagan ko pa ‘yung effort at tutulungan ko pa ‘yung team ko na mag-improve pa lalo,” said Sotto.