HIGHLY-touted center Kai Sotto makes his debut for Batang Gilas next month in the Seaba Under-16 Championship from May 14 to 18 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The 6-foot-11 Sotto won Rookie of the Year honors in the UAAP juniors basketball, helping the Ateneo Blue Eaglets reach the Final Four before losing to eventual champion Far Eastern University-Diliman.
The country is eyeing its fourth straight title in the tournament and looking to qualify for the Fiba Asia Under-16 Championship later this year.
It will be coach Mike Oliver's second time coaching the U-16 squad in the Seaba tilt, having led them to the title two years ago in Cagayan de Oro City.
Batang Gilas will take on four other nations in the single-round tournament that will give the title to the team with the best record. Holiday Inn Galeria is the official hotel for the Seaba meet, with all 12 teams, technical group and Seaba officials billeted there.
Games are set in the mornings before the Seaba Championship featuring Gilas Pilipinas against six countries from the region.
The Filipinos make their debut against Singapore on May 14, followed by games against Indonesia (May 15) and Thailand (May 17) before wrapping up its campaign against Malaysia on May 18.