The NBA G League announced Friday the staging of a bubble tournament which starts next month in Orlando, Florida, apparently dimming Kai Sotto’s chances of suiting up for Gilas Pilipinas in the FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers.
Eighteen teams, including Sotto, Fil-American Jalen Green and the rest of the G-League Ignite, will participate in the tourney inside the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at the Walt Disney World Resort.
It’s the same venue where the NBA was able to complete its 2019-20 season under the same bubble concept.
With the G-League season pushing through, the Ignite will need Sotto to put his full concentration on donning the Ignite uniform instead of making a short route to Clark, Pampanga for the third window of the Asia Cup Qualifiers.
Sotto had earlier signified his desire to represent Gilas for the final window of the continental qualifiers. But Sotto’s intentions came before US media had reported the planned staging of the G-League bubble.
The Ignite are joined by the Agua Caliente, Austin Spurs, Canton Charge, Delaware Blue Coats, Erie Bayhawks, Fort Wayne Mad Ants, Greensboro Swarm, Iowa Wolves, Lakeland Magic, Long Island Nets, Memphis Hustle, Oklahoma City Blue, Raptors 905, Rio Grand Valley Vipers, Salt Lake City Stars, Santa Cruz Warriors and the Westchester Knicks.
“We’re excited to be a part of the G League schedule at Disney,” said Ignite head coach Brian Shaw. “This is a unique opportunity for our players to showcase their development while gaining a high volume of experience quickly against the caliber of talent they’ll face every day in the NBA.”
The top eight teams will qualify for the playoffs.
Gilas will play three games — two against South Korea and one opposite Indonesia — in the qualifiers set Feb. 18 to 22, with PBA players comprising most of the roster.