KAI Sotto is not a shoo-in for the national team.
Gilas Pilipinas coach Tab Baldwin said the 7-foot-3 Sotto must prove his worth in training to be part of the squad.
“As a coach, I am developing a team. To be part of that team, you have to be integrated into that team. To be integrated into that team, you have to contribute to that team. I have some conditions that if Kai comes back and he doesn’t train with us, I believe he is going to look bad,” Baldwin said last Saturday on Radyo5 92.3 News FM’s Power and Play program hosted by former PBA Commissioner Noli Eala.
“I don’t think that’s fair to him. I don’t think that is fair to his prospects because NBA coaches are watching everything that Kai does. And if he comes back here and plays, they are going to watch,” he added.
Sotto, 18, begged off from taking part in the all-amateur training pool toughening up at the Inspire Sports Academy in Calamba, Laguna for two coming international tilts.
He was set to play in the NBA G League but chose instead to return to the country and suit up for the nationals in the third window of the FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers in Clark before it was canceled and the hosting was given to Doha last month.
Doha’s hosting of the final window of the qualifiers was called off due to the outbreak of the new strain of the deadly COVID-19, however.
While Clark was given back the hosting duties by the FIBA, the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas has yet to get approval from the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging and Infectious Diseases for the last leg of the qualifiers tentatively set from June 14 to 20.