DON'T expect Kai Sotto to be present for Gilas Pilipinas come the 2022 Fiba Asia Cup in Indonesia.
Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) program director Chot Reyes has all but ruled out the 7-foot-3 center from the national team that will compete in the continental showcase happening less than two weeks away.
"Mukhang wala na. He has decided to do some other thing and forego the Fiba Asia Cup," Reyes said on Sunday after the Philippines' 79-63 win over India in the 2023 Fiba World Cup Asian qualifiers.
[See Error-prone Gilas still too good for India]
Reyes said the federation has been in constant communication with Sotto's handlers at East West Private, although he bared the SBP really hasn't gotten any update from their camp about the NBA hopeful's plans.
"We have [been communicating] and they said no. Well, they haven't said no but they're not saying yes. If it's not a yes, we already know what it is," he said.
Sotto would have been a big boost for a national team lacking in big men and the Fiba Asia Cup gig could keep him busy after going undrafted in the 2022 NBA Draft and being left out of the NBA Summer League rosters.
Although Reyes would have wanted to have the 20-year-old big man at his disposal, he said that there's really so much the SBP could do at this point.
"We're still hoping, but to be very honest, medyo malabo," he said.