MANILA, Philippines -- Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) congratulated Kai Sotto after the teenage center decided to join the NBA G League last week.
It was an unprecedented step for a Filipino player, as Sotto rebuffed offers from NCAA Division 1 schools and abroad in order to play for a Select team together with other top prospects in the United States.
"The SBP is one with all Filipino basketball fans in expressing our all out support for Kai Sotto as he takes the next big step in his career," the organization said Saturday.
"We had a front row seat in seeing Kai grow through our Gilas Pilipinas Youth program, and we’re hopeful that his development will continue further in the NBA G League — not just as a basketball player, but as a young man as well," it added.
Sotto has been the centerpiece of the "Batang Gilas" program since he made his debut in the 2017 SEABA Under-18 Championships in Manila. He began drawing attention after sensational performances in the FIBA Under-16 Asian Championships in 2018, where he was named to the all-tournament team.
Sotto would go on to represent the Philippines in the FIBA Under-17 World Cup in 2018, and the FIBA Under-19 World Cup in 2019.
"Kai will be a huge part of the future of Philippine basketball, so his success will be the entire country’s, too," the SBP said.
Sotto has already said that he is willing to keep playing for the Philippines, though he will have to work out the schedule with his new team.
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