Kai Sotto said he will play for Gilas Pilipinas in the FIBA Asia Cup and the Olympic Qualifying Tournament later this year.
The 7-foot-3 expressed his commitment Wednesday, April 21 shortly before confirming his signing with the Adelaide 36ers of Australia’s National Basketball League.
Sotto was supposed to don the national colors last February for the third window of the Asia Cup Qualifiers, but was postponed due to the COVID-19 situation in Doha at that time.
“I’m very excited to be joining the Gilas Pilipinas national team that will be playing this OQT and FIBA Asia Cup,” Sotto said in a virtual roundtable discussion with media members.
“Alam naman natin na pag sinabing Kai Sotto, ito yung batang naglalaro para sa bansa niya at yun naman talaga goal ko (We all know that Kai Sotto is a kid who really wants to play for the country, and that is really my goal),” he added.
The Philippines is set to host the final window of the Asia Cup Qualifiers in Clark, Pampanga this June, needing just one win to secure a place in the continental tournament slated August in Jakarta.
The OQT follows the Asia Cup Qualifiers in late-June in Belgrade where Gilas is scheduled to face Dominican Republic and host Serbia.
Gilas program director Tab Baldwin said arrangement on how Sotto can come in and join the preparation for both competitions will be discussed with the latter’s management group from East West Private.
“Without being able to give specifics, you just have to know that we’re working towards that,” said Baldwin.