Sotto fires back at naysayers

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    NOT even a botched stint with Ignite in the NBA G League could break the spirit of Kai Sotto.

    His sights remain firmly set on becoming the first homegrown Filipino to play in the NBA.

    The US-based 7-foot-3 center broke his long silence last Saturday with a series of photos on Instagram, apparently firing back at his naysayers and unbelievers.

    “Kasi mas matagal kang darating sa paroroonan mo kung babatuhin mo lahat ng aso na kakahol sayo,” Sotto said, referring to the lyrics of Filipino rapper Loonie’s “Kalmado Part 1” song along with Omar Baliw and Rhyne.

    The series of photos included a stop-motion photo of him going for a slam dunk.
    Sotto, 18, begged off from taking part in the Gilas Pilipinas national team training pool toughening up at the Inspire Sports Academy in Calamba, Laguna.

    The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas assured that Sotto will still be part of the pool.

    Sotto was set to play in the NBA G League but muffed it when he opted to return to the country and suit up for the Philippine five in the third window of the FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers in Clark before it was canceled and the hosting given to Doha last month.

    Doha’s hosting of the final window of the qualifiers was later called off due to the outbreak of the new strain of the deadly virus.

    While Clark was given back the hosting duties by the FIBA, the SBP 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.

    With the schedule of the Clark window still to be determined, the SBP also deemed it best for Sotto to leave and rejoin Ignite. Facing limited options, Sotto flew back to the US also last month.

    East West Private, the management firm that handles Sotto’s career, is tightlipped on what will be the next move of Sotto.

    A former UAAP juniors’ MVP with the Blue Eaglets under Silva, Sotto chose to skip college and go pro.

    He left the country in 2019 to train at the Atlanta-based The Skills Factory and was signed by Ignite in May last year.