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MANILA, Philippines—Kai Sotto has confirmed that he will not be joining Gilas Pilipinas at the 2021 Fiba Asia Cup in Indonesia as he wants to fulfill his commitments to club team Adelaide in the Australian National Basketball League.
Sotto said in a Facebook post that he will be in Adelaide from August 1, two days before the start of the continental tournament in Jakarta.
The 7-foot-3 center will begin his mandatory quarantine in Australia in early August, effectively removing him from Gilas’s Asian Cup lineup.
“Playing in the NBL is a crucial step in my basketball journey and now that I have fulfilled my qualifying window and OQT commitments to the national team, I want to focus on playing well for the Adelaide 36ers and focus 1000% on giving all my best Sotto wrote.
Sotto said both the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas and his agency East West Private were trying to figure out the best possible route for him, but his commitments with the 36ers seemed to be the choice.
There has been a lot of speculation as to whether I will compete with Gilas in the FIBA Asia Cup next August. The…
Posted by Kai Sotto on Wednesday 21 July 2021
He therefore asked for public understanding for his decision to join his club and forgo his national team duties for the time being.
“I know many will be disappointed with my announcement, but I ask for your understanding,” he wrote in Philippine. “I will return to Gilas stronger and more experienced after playing in Australia.”
“Please pray for my teammates in the Asian Cup and I will be one of the loudest fans too.”
Sotto made his senior debut in the third window of the Asian Cup Qualifiers, scoring 9.3 points and 7.0 rebounds in three games.
He then played twice in the Fiba Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Belgrade, scoring an average of 9.0 points and 4.5 boards.
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