THIS early, Ateneo Blue Eaglets coach Joe Silva is impressed with the skills of 13-year-old Kai Sotto, who gained a shot at making the roster after passing the school's entrance exam.
Even while the team waits for his official enrollment to the school, the 6-foot-9 Sotto has already been practicing with the Blue Eaglets. And with the way he is performing in practice, the Ateneo coach believes that he has a strong chance of making the UAAP squad next season.
"Yes, he has a big chance of making it to the UAAP. Of course, maraming factors pa rin ‘yan dahil matagal pa ang UAAP season pero mataas pa rin ang chance," said Silva.
"I don’t know if he can contribute right away, but next year or in the years to come, we hope that he will be a dominant presence inside," said Silva of the teen prodigy named MVP of the Jr. NBA national training camp this year.
With the preseason tournaments now ongoing, Sotto also has a shot at making the Filoil preseason lineup when the Blue Eaglets open the campaign against San Beda.
Silva said he likes Sotto’s fundamentals, as well as some of the surprising attributes unique to a player his size and age.
"One thing good about him is he is mobile, he can shoot with both hands, and he can dribble the ball using both hands. He also has a decent outside shot already," Silva said.
Silva admitted that the 13-year-old still needs to bulk up but he says it's just a matter of time.
"His presence is definitely malaki. Right now, ‘yung katawan medyo mahina pa because of the fact that he is only 13 years old. But he has a lot of upside because of his soft touch around the basket," said Silva.