Kai Sotto, the 7-foot-3 center playing for the Adelaide 36ers in NBL Australia, is scheduled to arrive next week, August 18.
NBA star Jordan Clarkson will be in the country a day later, giving them a few days to get themselves adjusted to the system of the Gilas Pilipinas team preparing for the coming FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifier fourth window.
This was confirmed to ABS-CBN News by Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) spokesperson Sonny Barrios.
"Mauuna si Sotto on the 18th while Clarkson will be on the 19th," said Barrios via Viber message.
Gilas Pilipinas will leave on August 21 for Beirut where it plays Lebanon on August 25 at 9 p.m. (August 26, 2 a.m. in Manila) and Saudi Arabia on August 29, 7 p.m. in Manila.
Sotto and Clarkson had committed to play in the coming fourth window of the World Cup Asian Qualifier. That will definitely bolster the roster of the national team which will also have brothers Kiefer and Thirdy Ravena, Ray Parks, and Dwight Ramos, all of them playing in the Japan B. League; UAAP players Carl Tamayo, LeBron Lopez and Kevin Quiambao; and probable PBA players who have yet to be named.
"We are glad to have Kai into the Gilas fold and thank him for his proactive response to play for flag and country for the August Qualifiers," added Barrios.
A former PBA commissioner who has worked as an executive in the basketball governing body since retiring from the pro league, Barrios clarified that the desire to win is high for our national team.
Earlier, the SBP disclosed that possible players form the PBA, particularly those who are not playing in the ongoing Philippine Cup, might be added to shore up the young team of Gilas.
Among those being reportedly eyed are Calvin Oftana of NLEX, reigning MVP Scottie Thompson, and 6-foot-9 athletic forward Japeth Aguilar.