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Sotto thrilled to face NBA stars

Kai Sotto is looking forward to test his mettle against legitimate National Basketball Association players when Adelaide 36ers face the Phoenix Suns and the Oklahoma City Thunder as part of their preparation for the upcoming season of the National Basketball League.

Sotto, the 20-year-old Filipino slotman, admitted that he couldn’t sleep after getting snubbed in the recent NBA Rookie Draft.

But with his team facing the Suns on Monday and the Thunder on Friday, his dream of gauging his talent against NBA players will finally be realized.

“I can’t sleep at night without remembering the fact that I didn’t get drafted,” Sotto said in an interview with 10 News First Adelaide.

“That’s why I’m here today in the NBL. That’s what keeps me going. It gave me a better sense of direction. Now I know what to do.”

Facing the Suns and the Thunder is a dream come true for the 7-foot-2 rising star.

Against Phoenix, he will go up against former top overall pick DeAndre Ayton and Bismack Biyombo while sharing the floor with future Hall of Famers Chris Paul and Devin Booker.

Four nights later, he gets another chance to face quality players, this time with international flavor as he will bang bodies with Ousmane Dieng of New Zealand, Aleksej Pokusevski of Serbia and Josh Giddey, the Australian who started his professional career with the 36ers, when they face Oklahoma City.

“It’s a dream come true to play in an NBA environment, NBA teams, NBA court, NBA fans. I’m pretty excited,” Sotto said.

Adelaide coach CJ Burton said he believes Sotto can stand his ground against NBA stars.

In fact, he has been providing solid contributions for the 36ers in their pre-season campaign.

“I thought Kai was really amazing, how he bounced back,” Burton said referring to the Filipino, who sparked a huge fourth-quarter run in the 36ers’ 84-77 win over Illawarra.

“His level of activity helped shift the needle for us to know we can play with length and size.”

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