In G League, Kai Sotto looks to improve defensively

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 17 2020 04:56 PM

Filipino standout Kai Sotto wants to shore up his defensive skills when he plays for the select team in the NBA G League. 

Sotto, 18 years old, made history for the Philippines when he decided to skip college and instead take his talents to the G League, where he will play with other top prospects and receive coaching that will prepare him for the NBA. 

All this, in hopes of becoming the first homegrown Filipino to be drafted to the best basketball league in the world.

"The NBA is really my dream, to become an NBA player, and I think G League is the best path for me, because I'll be coached by NBA-caliber coaches and you know, the players there are really all talented," Sotto said. 

"I just can't wait to go there and train and you know, compete."

When asked what he needs to work on the most when it comes to his game, Sotto was ready with his answer.

"Probably, defense. Defense, and 'yung strength ko, and 'yung quickness," he said. 

Now standing at 7-foot-2 and weighing 229 pounds, Sotto knows he still needs to bulk up in order to withstand the physicality of the G League.

"I want to get better defensively," he stressed. "Pag naging magaling na defensive player ako, ibig sabihin noon, lumakas ako at bumilis ako. Marami akong kayang gawin, just by playing defense."

"Sa tingin ko naman, offensively madali na para sa akin. Kasi 'yun nga, madali para sa akin mag-read ng situations," he explained. 

"Kailangan ko lang maging mas better defensively."

Sotto will have plenty of help on offense, as he will be playing with some of the best prospects in the United States -- including Jalen Green, an uber-athletic guard of Filipino descent who is projected to be the No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft.

Sotto and Green played against each other in the NBTC Tournament in Manila, and Green reportedly played a major role in recruiting the Filipino teenager to the G League. 

(For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website).