MANILA, Philippines — In just three days, young Gilas Pilipinas center Kai Sotto had his mettle tested by NBA players.
The Philippines, however, remain winless after dropping assignments against the Dominican Republic and Angola in Group A of the Fiba World Cup 2023, but Sotto still found the right side despite the situation.
One of them was the experience of playing alongside and against NBA players like fellow Gilas Pilipinas Jordan Clarkson, Dominican Karl-Anthony Towns and Angolan Bruno Fernando.
“You can see from KAT to JC (Clarkson) how great NBA players are. They’re not just NBA players, but they’re really good, so you have to respect their skills and the way they bring their teams,” Sotto said after Sunday’s 80-70 loss to Angola at the Araneta Coliseum. .
“It’s a blessing for me to play with Jordan and to play against these (NBA) guys.”
Sotto couldn’t do much against Towns on Friday as he was only used for a minute and 13 seconds, but he definitely showed his skills against Fernando’s Angola.
In nearly 20 minutes of play, the former Adelaide 36er had eight points and six rebounds while limiting Fernando to 54.5 percent shooting (6 of 11) for 14 points.
Despite a commendable confrontation with Fernando, Sotto said there was still a lot of work to be done to improve the situation.
“(There are) still a lot of mistakes and a lot of things to improve. After all, there is no perfect game, so I will rewatch the game, but I’m proud of everyone’s effort and fight back,” the 7-foot-2 tall man said.
“We didn’t make it, but the fight was still there.”
Sotto and Gilas are looking to do the unthinkable and knock Italy out by 13 points to advance to the second round of the World Cup on Tuesday at Araneta Coliseum.
To subscribe to MORE APPLICANT to access The Philippine Daily Inquirer and over 70 other titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am and share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.
For comments, complaints or inquiries, Contact us.