KAI Sotto's success is also the Philippines' success.
That's the sentiment from the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) after the 7-foot-2 prodigy made the leap to the pro ranks and committed to the NBA G League select team.
"The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas is one with all Filipino basketball fans in expressing our all-out support for Kai Sotto as he takes the next big step in his career," said SBP president Al Panlilio in a statement.
Sotto has been a key cog in the national youth team program for the past half-decade, leading Gilas Youth to the gold medal in the 2016 SEABA Under-16 Championship.
His might was also a key factor in the Philippines' 13th-place finish in the 2018 Fiba Under-17 World Cup in Argentina as well as its 14th-place run in the 2019 Fiba Under-19 World Cup in Greece.
"We had a frontrow seat in seeing Kai grow through our Gilas Pilipinas Youth program and we’re hopeful that his development will continue further in the NBA G League not just as a basketball player but as a young man as well," said Panlilio.
With Sotto further honing his talents in the US through the NBA G League select team, Panlilio believes that the success of the 18-year-old beanpole will also be beneficial for the national team.
After all, a lot of coaches believe that he will be a part of the Gilas Pilipinas team for the 2023 Fiba World Cup, which will be co-hosted by the country.
"Kai will be a huge part of the future of Philippine basketball, so his success will be the entire country’s, too," the statement read.