Kai Sotto arrives for Gilas training; Jordan Clarkson flies in

Published August 19, 2022, 12:06 PM

by Reynald I. Magallon

Reinforcements have started to come in for Gilas Pilipinas for the fourth window of the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers.

Jordan Clarson (Photo from Jhay Oh Otamias)

Kai Sotto arrived in the country Thursday night, Aug. 18, while Jordan Clarkson is set to land in Manila Friday night, Aug. 19.

The 7-foot-3 Sotto was a towering figure upon his arrival at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 from Australia where he made a short stop after re-signing with the Adelaide 36ers in the NBL.

It was Sotto’s first return to the country after going undrafted in the 2022 NBA Rookie Draft and is already set to join the Gilas training camp Friday night.

On the other hand, Clarkson will be back for the first time since seeing action in the 2019 Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia. Clarkson will most likely join the rest of Gilas on Saturday.

Sotto, for his part, will also be on his second tour of duty with the national team since playing in the Asia Cup Qualifiers and Olympic Qualifying tournament last year.

“The fact I am playing for my country again is one of the best feelings, and it’s a dream come true to step out on the court in that Philippine jersey,” said Sotto in an article published in Adelaide 36ers website.

“We have some pretty good players who are going to suit up and a good system so as long as we have a good preparation I think we will play good and get those two wins,” Sotto said.

Gilas takes on Lebanon on Aug. 25 in Beirut before it hosts Saudi Arabia at the Mall of Asia Arena on Aug. 29.

Joining the two are a slew of talented individuals led by PBA players Scottie Thompson, Arvin Tolentino and Roosevelt Adams who reportedly showed up in national pool practice on Thursday.

B.League imports Dwight Ramos, Ray Parks Jr., Kiefer and Thirdy Ravena, and Gilas mainstays Carl Tamayo, Kevin Quiambao and Francis Lopez.

Other PBA players in the pool are Magnolia duo Ian Sangalang and Jio Jalalon, NorthPort’s Jamie Malonzo and Robert Bolick, Meralco’s Chris Newsome, Raymond Almazan and Allein Maliksi, NLEX’s Calvin Oftana and Kevin Alas, and Ginebra’s Japeth Aguilar.

 
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