SBP says Kai will always have a home here


    Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas president Al Panlilio yesterday reiterated the federation’s unwavering support to Kai Sotto and is convinced the 7-foot-3 center still has what it takes.

    “Although we are saddened with the recent announcement that he (Sotto) will no longer be rejoining Ignite in the NBA G League, we still wish Kai all the best and we will support him in any way we can,” Panlilio said in a statement.

    “Even at his young age, Kai has shown amazing grit and determination to pursue his dreams and we have complete trust that he’ll do us proud,” he added.

    The NBA G League announced Sotto and Ignite “mutually” parted ways late last Tuesday night.

    East West Private and Sotto have yet to announce what’s next for the Filipino teen prodigy.

    Sotto, 18, returned to the Philippines last Feb. 2 to suit up for Gilas Pilipinas in the third window of the FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers.

    With the schedule of the Clark window still to be determined, the SBP also deemed it best for Sotto to return to Orlando, Florida for the league bubble season.

    Sotto flew back to the US last Feb. 14.

    Panlilio, also the first vice president of the Philippine Olympic Committee, said the SBP will always support Sotto and other Filipino players in their overseas bid.

    “When Kai announced via social media that he wanted to come home to play for Gilas Pilipinas men, we welcomed him with open arms because he’ll always have a home with us at the SBP,” Panlilio said.

    “The same is true for any Filipino basketball players chasing their dreams on the international stage. Whatever may happen to their respective paths, they can always be sure that the SBP will be there to provide them a stage where they could perform for their Filipino fans.”