AMID uncertainties, Kai Sotto will no longer suit up for Gilas Pilipinas and will instead rejoin Ignite in the NBA G League after a whirlwind turn of events.
The 7-foot-3 center was reportedly set to leave for the United States yesterday.
Sotto, 18, returned home with his father Ervin last Feb. 2 and had to go on a five-day quarantine, plus a swab test.
Gilas was supposed to leave for Doha last Saturday but the Qatari capital’s hosting of the third window of the FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers was canceled due to the outbreak of the new strain of the deadly COVID-19 late last Thursday night.
Also late Friday night, the FIBA announced that Clark was given back the hosting duties for the final leg of the qualifiers after it was initially scrapped last January.
But with the schedule of the Clark window still to be determined, the SBP deemed it best for the lanky Sotto, who is bidding to become the first homegrown Filipino to gain NBA foothold, to return to the US.
Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas director for operations Butch Antonio said Sotto should be lauded for his commitment to Gilas.
“We have to remember that even before all of these things happened, when he was planning to join the NBA and when he planned his foreign trip wherever it was, lalo na noong na-sure niya na pupunta siya ng Amerika, he made it clear that every time, basta kailangan siya ng ating bayan, ‘di niya tatanggihan at ‘di niya tatalikuran ang kanyang obligasyon para i-represent ang ating bayan to be part of the national team which is really commendable as far as how we should look at Kai,” Antonio said last Saturday on Radyo5 92.3 News FM’s Power and Play program hosted by former PBA Commissioner Noli Eala.
Sotto sacrificed a lot and fulfilled his promise, according to Antonio.