Kai Sotto asks for understanding as he skips Gilas Asia Cup duties

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Kai Sotto made his senior team debut for against South Korea. FIBA ASIA CUP PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—Kai Sotto confirmed he will not be joining Gilas Pilipinas in the 2021 Fiba Asia Cup in Indonesia as he’s set to fulfill his commitments to club team Adelaide in the Australian National Basketball League.

Sotto said in a Facebook post that he’ll be in Adelaide starting August 1, two days before the start of the continental tournament in Jakarta.

The 7-foot-3 center will start his mandatory quarantine in Australia at the start of August effectively removing him from Gilas’ lineup for the Asia Cup.

“Playing in the NBL is a critical step in my basketball journey and now that I have fulfilled my qualifier window and OQT commitments to the national team, I want to focus on playing well for the Adelaide 36ers and focus 1000% on giving the 36ers all my best,” wrote Sotto.

Sotto said that both the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas and his agency East West Private tried to come up with the best possible route for him but his commitments with the 36ers looked to be the choice.

There’s been a lot of speculation about whether I will be joining Gilas for the FIBA Asia Cup this coming August. The…

Posted by Kai Sotto on Wednesday, July 21, 2021

He thus asked for the public’s understanding of his decision to join his club and forego his national team duties for now.

“I know many will be disappointed with my announcement but I ask for your understanding,” he wrote in Filipino. “I will return to Gilas stronger and with more experience after playing in Australia.”

“Please pray for my teammates in the Asia Cup and I will also be one of the loudest fans.”

Sotto made his senior debut in the third window of the Asia Cup Qualifiers where he posted 9.3 points and 7.0 rebounds in three games.

He then played twice in the Fiba Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Belgrade and averaged 9.0 points and 4.5 boards.

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