KAI Sotto came three blocks shy of a unique double-double on Thursday in the Ateneo Blue Eaglets' loss to Far Eastern University in a playoff game for the second seed in the UAAP Season 79 juniors basketball tournament.
The 14-year-old Sotto scored just two points in the one-game playoff but was magnificent in other facets of his game as he finished with 17 rebounds and seven blocks in the 64-62 loss to the Baby Tamaraws at The Arena in San Juan.
The output of Sotto in rebounding and blocks are both season-highs.
The 6-foot-9 teen, who is set to make his Batang Gilas debut in April, was already on pace for a double-double as early as the first half as he already had 10 rebounds and six blocks.
That was when FEU decided to clamp down on the young, gangling big man in the second half, assigning Kenji Roman and Daniel Celzo to take turns in defending the rookie.
Sotto said he was aware that he was on pace for an unconventional double-double.
“’Yun lang naman kailangan kong gawin para makatulong sa team,” said the soft-spoken son of former PBA player Ervin Sotto.
Sotto’s effort, however, didn’t result in a win as Ateneo blew a 16-point lead against FEU, allowing the Baby Tamaraws to gain the second seed in the Final Four.
With his performance, however, Sotto is expected to be a marked man when the two teams clash again in the Final Four beginning on Tuesday.