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Manila Bulletin - 2021-05-05

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Kai Sotto commits...

Sports

At center for the Philippines…Kai Sotto! The basketball rising star has reaffirmed his commitment to the national men’s basketball team program notwithstanding his deal to play for the Adelaide 36ers of Australia’s National Basketball League. Sotto made the reassurance to answer the “call for flag and country” from his training camp at the Kaiju Academy in Hamilton, Ohio, stressing his desire to join Gilas Pilipinas in the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers in Clark, Pampanga, from June 16 to 20. The 7-foot-3 center, Smart Communications’ newest ambassador, also pledged his services to the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Belgrade, Serbia, in July. “Playing for the national team is the top goal of any athlete,” Sotto told a recent online press conference. “My goal is to inspire the next generation of young Filipinos.” Al Panlilio, president and CEO of Smart, lauds Sotto’s single-minded purpose. “He can really be the future of Philippine basketball,” Panlilio said. “He’s only 18 years old, but he’s achieved so much, and we’re rooting for him as he achieves his goals. “He represents and inspires the youth to live big on their passions. He shares his journey to his followers while pursuing to fulfill his career goals at such a young age.” Sotto’s training at the Kaiju Academy is part of his goal to become the first full-blooded Filipino to play in the NBA.

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