Kai Sotto has more time to devote to Gilas training after wrapping up summer classes
Kai Sotto impressed in his Gilas debut against the UE Warriors. Dante Peralta

THE Gilas cadets squad is bound to see more of Kai Sotto in the Filoil Flying V Preseason Cup.

Sotto said he has finished his academic commitments at Ateneo, giving him time to be with Gilas where he is part of the pool for the Philippine squad to the 2023 Fiba Basketball World Cup.

“Nung una, may summer classes pa ako sa Ateneo. Tapos after noon, sinabi na ni coach Chot (Reyes) na mag-practice na ako last week. Tapos naglaro ako (Tuesday),” said Sotto.

The 15-year-old finished with five points, three rebounds, and two blocks in their 63-61 win over the Red Warriors - just the second in seven outings for the cadets in the preseason tournament.

Sotto also scored on a follow-up dunk in the fourth quarter to spark the Gilas comeback.

“Happy ako na nakasama ako sa line-up na makalaro ko ‘yung best sa Pilipinas. Sana ‘yung panalo namin, magtuluy-tuloy hanggang sa matapos ‘yung Filoil. May two games pa kami, kailangan mag-end kami ng maayos,” said Sotto.

Sotto drew praise from Gilas cadets coach Jong Uichico for his basketball IQ.

“Siyempre nagpapasalamat ako kay coach na pinagkatiwalaan niya ako. Ginawa ko lang best ko na hindi sila pahiyain. Ginawa ko ‘yung role ko, depensahan ‘yung tao ko, at rumebound. Buti nanalo kami,” said the 7-foot-1 teenager.

Sotto said he has already prepared himself mentally about the quality of the opposition in the preseason cup.

“Dati pa naman, sineset ko na ‘yung utak ko na laging hihirap at hihirap pa ‘yung basketball para sa akin kaya pinaghahandaan ko na,” said Sotto.

“Nasa sa akin na ‘yun. Kahit sino kalaban ko, mentality ko, kaya ko sila at lahat tutulungan ko team ko na manalo. Gagawin ko ‘yung role ko para manalo,” he added.

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