After weeks of uncertainty, the NBA G League announced on Tuesday, Feb. 23, that both Team Ignite and Kai Sotto have reached a “mutual decision” to let go of the Filipino talent due to various circumstances.
“Kai and the team both understood the challenges for him to rejoin Ignite given the current international travel constraints, quarantine times and health and safety protocols,” said NBA G League President Shareef Abdur-Rahim.
“Kai will always be part of the extended Ignite family and we wish him continued success as he pursues his NBA dreams,” he added.
The announcement served as the final notice that might dictate the next step for the 7-foot-3 prodigy.
With the promise of fulfilling his commitment to don the national colors, Sotto flew back to the country to join Gilas Pilipinas for the third and final window of the FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers.
But the price Sotto’s flight to Manila cost him a precious spot in his G League team, which, without him, set the tournament ablaze with a 4-0 start under the care of Filipino-American prospect Jalen Green
The wild turn of events went on spiral trend when FIBA initially decided to move the Clark bubble to Doha, Qatar–only to have it back to the country due to the rising cases of COVID-19 in the ultra-modern city.
These obstacles ruined Sotto’s intention of a grand debut for the Gilas Five.
Nowhere to go and practically inactive for weeks due to lengthy quarantine stays, the 18-year-old packed his bag and went back to the US in the hopes of rejoining the G League squad.
But a supposed reunion with his teammates was quashed with the recent announcement that cut off what could have been one of Sotto’s pathways to the NBA.