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    US NCAA not part of plan as Kai Sotto headed for Europe, says dad

    Mar 26, 2019
    Kai Sotto, right, exchanges notes with Kobe Paras during a send-off ceremony on Tuesday.
    PHOTO: Jerome Ascano

    KAI Sotto is targeting a stint in Europe, instead of the United States, in an ambitious bid to reach his dream of making it to the NBA.

    Sotto’s father Ervin bared during Tuesday’s send-off ceremony that there are no plans to have his son play in the US NCAA, saying they are strongly looking at going to Europe for continuous training.

    “Wala sa plano namin maglaro sa US NCAA,” said Sotto. “Slim siya maglaro doon.”

    Seeing how European players have developed over the years before making it to the NBA, Ervin recognized the best chance for the prodigious teenager to make it to the NBA is through Europe.

    “Kung marunong ka tumingin ng player, marunong ka tumingin ng laro at basketball, alam mo ‘yung skill set ng anak ko. Mas maganda talaga mag-train siya sa Europe at maglaro sa Europe,” said Ervin.

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      “Kung titignan mo, top 10 big man sa NBA nasa Europe. Mostly, mga 50, 60 percent Europe (big man). Kahit si Kai, tanungin mo, alam niya kung nasan siya puwedeng mag-fit para makuha ‘yung goal niya,” said Sotto.

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      So far, Ervin confirmed four European ballclubs have a standing offer for Kai to play under their program. But before deciding on which team to choose, Kai will be training for two months in the US to strengthen his body.

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      Ervin said they are not in a hurry to decide on where Kai will be playing in Europe as they are also focused on their son’s stint in the Fiba Under-19 Basketball World Cup stint of the Philippines.

      “Ang tinitignan muna namin is training sa US. After nun, meron pa naman siyang Under-19 sa June. Nagpapalakas siya sa sarili niya at nagpapalakas siya sa Fiba Under-19,” said Ervin.

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      Kai Sotto, right, exchanges notes with Kobe Paras during a send-off ceremony on Tuesday.
      PHOTO: Jerome Ascano
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