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    Kai Sotto thrilled to play at power forward as fellow bigs Chiu, Diaz step up

    Feb 10, 2019
    PHOTO: Marlo Cueto

    KAI Sotto couldn't be any happier with the way Ateneo has been playing heading into the Final Four of the UAAP Season 81 juniors' basketball tournament.

    With his numbers already a given, the 7-foot-1 slotman was happy to see his fellow bigs in Geo Chiu and David Diaz step up for the Blue Eaglets.

    "Nagustuhan ko talaga yung aggressiveness ni Diaz at Geo kanina kasi talagang kakaiba eh. Kitang kita yung kagustuhan nilang manalo," he said after Ateneo's 72-59 win over Adamson on Sunday.

    Chiu topscored for the Blue Eaglets with 18 points to go along with 10 rebounds and four blocks, while Diaz added 10 points and five boards.

    The two's solid play allowed Sotto to spend time at power forward as he finished with 17 points, 15 rebounds, five assists, and two blocks.

    "As a teammate, mas tumaas yung kumpyansa ko na mas lalo pa silang makasama sa court kasi kahit anong mangyari, nandoon sila para sa akin at para sa iba naming teammates," Sotto said.

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      But more than the confidence, their stellar showing allowed Ateneo to secure the last twice-to-beat incentive as the No. 2 seed, setting up a semifinal clash against FEU-Diliman.

      "Malaking bagay yun para sa amin," admitted Sotto as he is hell-bent on helping the Blue Eaglets repeat as champions this year.

      "As much as possible, gusto naming tapusin na agad dahil baka may possibility na mag-relax kami (against FEU). Pero hindi namin hahayaan yun. Talagang simula pa lang, diin na kami."

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      PHOTO: Marlo Cueto
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