KAI Sotto vowed to return a much better player as he confirmed he will miss Gilas Pilipinas' campaign in The King's Cup in Jordan next week and the 2021 Fiba Asia Cup in Indonesia in August.
The 7-foot-3 center is focusing on his stint with the Adelaide 36ers in the National Basketball League in Australia. He earlier signed a multi-year deal with Adelaide under the Special Restricted Player program, allowing players from neighboring Asian nations to suit up in the NBL.
"There’s been a lot of speculation about whether I will be joining Gilas for the FIBA Asia Cup this coming August. The SBP and my EWP team have been trying to figure out what is the best balance for the team and my personal development. And for a while I was really hoping that I would be able to join my teammates in Indonesia," Sotto said in a Facebook post.
"But as you all know, I already committed to join the NBL starting the 2021/2022 season and I will be in Adelaide on August 1 to start my two week quarantine, get settled and start preparing for preseason activities."
Kai Sotto looks to prove his worth with the Adelaide 36ers
Sotto had a fine showing in the 2021 Fiba Asia Cup qualifiers in Clark in June, averaging 9.3 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 1.3 assists, and continuing it in the Fiba Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Belgrade where he posted 9.0 points, 4.5 boards, 1.5 dimes, and 1.0 steal.
"Playing in the NBL is a critical step in my basketball journey and now that I have fulfilled my qualifier window and OQT commitments to the National Team, I want to focus on playing well for the Adelaide 36ers and focus 1000% on giving the 36ers all my best," he said.
"Alam ko po na may mga ma disappoint sa announcement na ito pero hinihingi ko po ang inyong paguunawa. Babalik ho ako sa Gilas na mas malakas at mas maraming natutunan sa aking paglalaro sa Australia. Ipagdadasal ko po ang mga kasamahan ko para sa Asia Cup and I will be one of their loudest fans! Maraming salamat po sa inyong pagsusubaybay sa aking basketball journey!"
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