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Sky’s the limit for 7-foot Kai Sotto

Kai Sotto (MB photo | Rio Leonelle Deluvio)

Kai Sotto (MB photo | Rio Leonelle Deluvio)

By Jerome Lagunzad

Already standing at least 7-foot at a young age of just 15 years old, the sky is certainly the limit for Ateneo high school prodigy Kai Sotto.

Sotto is being groomed as the future cornerstone of Gilas Pilipinas.

That’s because the towering son of former pro Ervin continues to show strong signs of becoming a dominant big man in the foreseeable future being the main anchor of the Blue Eaglets’ title drive in the UAAP juniors cage tourney.

The lanky Sotto, without a doubt, is standing tall – literally and figuratively – in his sophomore year with game-averages of 12.6 points on 53.7 percent shooting clip on top of 12.6 rebounds and 4.9 blocks in Ateneo’s perfect 8-0 start so far.

“It’s all about hardwork,” he told Tempo-Bulletin after he collected 11 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks in Ateneo’s 78-54 victory over perceived title contender University of Santo Tomas over the weekend.

For sure, there’s still a lot of work left to do for Sotto, who’s been included by national team coach Chot Reyes in his 23-strong wishlist which will serve as Gilas training pool for the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup which will have the Philippines as the main host.

The gentle giant is eager to live up to lofty to expectations.

“Siyempre happy ako kasi lahat naman ng players sa Pilipinas gusto makasama sa Gilas. Thankful ako sa opportunity na maisama sa pool. Ginagawa ko ‘yun na motivation para may bago pa akong goals in the future. Kailangan ko pa mag work harder para du’n,” he said.

Silva said the early preparations being done by Gilas management for the future national team should serve them well.

“That’s what I wanted long before pa. Ginagawa na rin kasi ‘yan ng ibang countries. Swerte nga sa ibang countries kasi dire-diretso ‘yung programa nila. Dito hindi naman natin control. But at least, we’re already entertaining thoughts of getting high school players to be developed for international competitions,” he said.

However, don’t expect Sotto to train with the present and future members of Gilas during its Monday sessions for the meantime.