THE Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) lauded young Kai Sotto for thinking of the welfare of the national team in his decision to take his act overseas.
Sotto on Monday announced that he’ll be leaving for the U.S. soon to undergo full-time training over the next three years in his desire to become the first homegrown Filipino player to make the NBA by 2021 or 2022.
At the same time, he also said the move is aimed not only for his personal growth but likewise, for the future of the national team.
The 7-foot-2 big man out of Ateneo has been named to the 23-man Philippine team training pool for the 2023 FIBA World Cup to be hosted by the country.
SBP President Al Panlilio said the association appreciated the 17-year-old's gesture.
“We commend Kai for his commitment to play for Batang Gilas in the World Cup in Greece, and in future international competitions of the men’s national team, Gilas Pilipinas, including the FIBA World Cup here in 2023,” said Panlilio.
In return, Panlilio said the SBP will help Sotto with whatever he needs in his training abroad.
“The SBP is closely coordinating with the management of Kai to ensure that all his needs are addressed and his stay in the US will be worthwhile and fruitful,” the SBP chief said.
“We are praying together with the rest of our country that the elusive dream of each and every one of us to have a natural-born Filipino to play in the NBA will become a reality.”