KAI Sotto will not be able to play for Mighty Sports Philippines in the 2020 Dubai International Basketball Tournament, the team announced on Tuesday, two days before the tournament opener.
Mighty cited "unresolved logistical and scheduling issues on (Sotto's) part," which led to this sudden development.
The 7-foot-2 Sotto was supposed to join the Philippine club in Dubai before the tournament starts.
"The Mighty Sports – Creative Pacific Team assures its supporters in the Philippines and the Filipino community in Dubai that this development was beyond its control and this sudden change of circumstances with Kai’s non-inclusion will not affect its chances in the championships as the team is still equally competitive," the team said in a statement.
Though saddened by Sotto's sudden pullout, head coach Charles Tiu remains optimistic of the team's chances in the tilt.
"Despite the absence of Kai, our team is still complete with a formidable line-up of young, athletic, very talented and inspired amateur players," he said.
Thirdy Ravena flanks the young blood in the Mighty squad, together with fellow Gilas pool members Isaac Go, Dave Ildefonso, and brothers Juan and Javi Gomez de Liano.
Naturalized Filipino center Andray Blatche also backstops the team, alongside imports Renaldo Balkman, McKenzie Moore, and Jelan Kendrick.
Completing the squad are Jamie Malonzo, Mikey Williams, veterans Beau Belga, Joseph Yeo, and Gab Banal, and young guns Jarrell Lim and Joaqui Manuel.
Mighty, backed by Creative Pacific of Bong Cuevas, Go for Gold, Oriental Group, Discovery Primea, and Gatorade, opens its campaign on Friday against the UAE National Team.