Filipino basketball phenom Kai Sotto said Gilas Pilipinas' games against Serbia and the Dominican Republic in the FIBA Olympic Qualification Tournament (OQT) has given his side a clearer view on what the team still has to work on.
"Now we know our weaknesses," the 7-foot-3 Sotto said in an article posted on FIBA.com.
"We still have time to improve. But, I believe in this team. I believe in this coaching staff. So you can expect us to be better. And we will."
Sotto also relished the opportunity to play against some of the best big men in the world, including Serbia's Boban Marjanovic, who plays for the Dallas Mavericks.
"I am more than grateful to play against these teams here, to play against outstanding players," Sotto said.
"I learned a lot, and I can't wait for the next time to play with my team."
Sotto believes that although they didn't win against Serbia and Dominican Republic, they were able to accomplish their mission to gain valuable experience from formidable teams.
Whatever they picked up from the the OQT will be useful for the young Gilas squad's development.
"The FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 is our main goal, and this team is the development team for the future," said Sotto.
"Everybody sees that we are very young, and many of these players will be on the roster for that time. Therefore, I believe everybody will keep working hard and get better until then."
The 19-year-old acknowledged feeling some pressure after being tagged as the likely successor of former Gilas big man Andray Blatche.
"Andray Blatche is a legend, a big-time player. Especially for Philippine basketball," Sotto said. "And yes, he is a role model, and I would like to be that good and vital for the Gilas squad."