MANILA, Philippines -- Filipino teenager Kai Sotto is set to fly to the United States by the first week of April, with the goal of becoming physically stronger before he pursues further training in Europe.
Sotto, who announced on Monday that he will head west to pursue his dream of one day playing in the NBA, offered more details about his decision in a press conference Tuesday at the Marquee Tent in EDSA Shangri-La.
"'Yung dad ko po ang tumulong sa akin na mag-decide," Sotto said, referring to his father, former professional basketball player Ervin. "Ako, taga-oo at hindi lang. Ako 'yung final na magde-decide."
According to Ervin, he and Kai will head to Atlanta, where the teen's agent is based.
"Ang unang stop namin is mag-US muna kami, para mag-training. Alam natin lahat na ang kailangan talaga ni Kai ay lumakas ang katawan niya," the older Sotto said. "Basketball is a physical game, and para makipagsabayan siya sa malalakas na players, kailangan mag-start muna siya ng intensive training para lumakas ang katawan niya."
Sotto is expected to train in the US for two months, after which he will shift his focus to the FIBA Under-19 World Cup that will be held in Greece in June.
"Tatapusin namin ang under-19, tapos babalik kami sa US for training," said Ervin.
From there, they will decide on the next step to take -- that is, to choose from the European ball clubs that have tendered offers to the family for the 7-foot-2 Filipino's serivces.
"Halos lahat sila, maganda," Ervin said of the offers. "May mga ibang parte na gusto namin, may mga gusto kaming hindi. Pero lahat sila, willing silang kuhain si Kai. Sa part namin, maganda talaga 'yung clubs."
Ervin will be with his son while he trains in Atlanta, with the rest of the Sotto family to follow in May.
"Sobrang saya ko, dahil malaking advantage 'yun para sa akin," said Kai of his father's presence. "Sa tingin ko naman, halos lahat ng Pilipino, gusto makasama ang pamilya nila. Sobrang saya ko na kasama ko ang nanay at tatay ko, at mga kapatid ko."
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