Kai Sotto shares Finals MVP honor with teammates, fulfills promise to coach
Kai Sotto celebrates his first UAAP championship for Ateneo. Marlo Cueto

KAI Sotto honored his teammates after winning the UAAP Season 80 Finals MVP award on Friday.

Sotto called his teammates to join him during the trophy presentation after the Blue Eaglets clinched the championship with a 62-58 win over the National University Bullpups at the Filoil Flying V Centre.

“‘Yung Finals MVP, lahat para sa team ko,” said the 7-foot-1 Sotto after averaging 17 points, 12.3 rebounds, and 6.3 blocks in the three-game title playoffs.

"Hindi ko naman makukuha ‘yung Finals MVP kung hindi dahil sa coach ko at sa mga teammates ko, family ko. Para talaga sa kanila ‘yun. Kung wala sila, hindi kami makakaabot dito.”

After a triple-double in the Blue Eaglets' Game One win, the 15-year old had a lackluster showing in Game Two, allowing the Bullpups to deal Ateneo its first loss of the season.

Prior to Game Three, Sotto said he received a message from Ateneo coach Joe Silva.

“Sabi niya, 'Kai kailangan ka namin. Kailangan mo ipakita ‘yung galing mo.' Sabi ko kay coach, 'Hindi mo na kailngan sabihin ‘yan. Gagawin ko ‘yan para sa 'yo,” said Sotto.

Sotto bounced back in the title-clincher with 19 points, 13 rebounds, and three blocks. He also converted a tip-in with 25.3 seconds left that broke the game's final deadlock at 58-58.

”Sobrang saya. Ako na siguro ang isa sa mga pinakamasayang tao ngayon sa Pilipinas. Siyempre nanalo ng championship, sino ba naman ang hindi sasaya dun,” Sotto said.

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