Prodigious teens Kai Sotto, Raven Cortez earn invites to join Gilas cadets in Filoil Cup
Kai Sotto is coming off an impressive stint with Batang Gilas that has eaned him an invitation to join the Gilas pool in the coming Filoil preseason tournament. Photo from Fiba.com

BATANG Gilas standouts Kai Sotto of Ateneo and Raven Cortez of De La Salle-Zobel have been invited to join practices for the Gilas cadets that will play in the Filoil Flying V Preseason Cup.

Gilas Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes bared the two were extended invitations following their stint in the Fiba Under-16 Asian Championship in Foshan, China where Batang Gilas placed fourth, allowing the team to qualify for the Fiba Under-17 Basketball World Cup.

“We have already invited them to join that team because we felt playing against older competition will make them better,” said Reyes on Tuesday night during the welcome dinner for Batang Gilas.

However, Reyes said college players from Ateneo won’t be seeing action for the Gilas cadets in the preseason tournament. Thirdy Ravena, Matt Nieto, and Isaac Go of Ateneo were part of the initial list of players included in the Gilas pool for the 2023 Fiba Basketball World Cup.

La Salle has also begged off from giving players for the Gilas cadets that will compete in the Filoil, according to Reyes. However, no La Salle player was named to the 2023 pool.

“Unfortunately, La Salle and Ateneo did not allow their players to join. It’s very unfortunate but it is what it is,” said Reyes.

Sotto, a member of the Ateneo Blue Eaglets squad, had the best efficiency rating among all players in the Fiba Under-16 Asian Championship, averaging 16.8 points, 13.5 rebounds, and 2.5 blocks per game.

Cortez, 15, is a 6-foot-7 center from De La Salle-Zobel who backed up Sotto in the Fiba Under-16 Asian Championship, averaging 5.7 points and 5.8 rebounds for Batang Gilas.

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