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Sotto finally shows up at Gilas practice, commits to join China tourney

Kai Sotto shows up during the tune up game between Gilas and Ateneo and affirms his commitment to join the FIBA World Cup build up.

Just a day after arriving right following his stint in the National Basketball Summer League, NBA aspirant Kai Sotto showed up during Gilas Pilipinas’ tune up game against Ateneo and reaffirmed his commitment for the FIBA World Cup.

But Sotto didn’t participate in the tune up game and will still need to take some time off, according to his dad, Ervin Sotto.

“We went there earlier,” wrote the elder Sotto via Messenger to Daily Tribune. “He was able to talk to (Gilas Pilipinas) Coach Chot Reyes, but he’ll need a few days off as his back is still hurting.”

In his last game in the NBA Summer League when Orlando Magic faced the Boston Celtics, Sotto left the game in the first half and was unable to return since then because of a nagging back spasm.

Reyes had earlier set a deadline of until July 25 on the players’ commitment for the FIBA World Cup.

Gilas are currently wrapping up a few more days of practices and possibly, another tune up game, before leaving on 1 August for a mini-tournament in China where they face the national teams of Lebanon, Iran and Senegal.

With Sotto now expected to rejoin the Gilas training anytime soon, it increases the total of active pool members to 17, pending the arrival of NBA star Jordan Clarkson, whose availability remains a mystery.

Sotto will join the 16 other hopefuls led by naturalized players Justin Brownlee and Ange Kouame, mainstays June Mar Fajardo and Japeth Aguilar, Philippine Basketball Association stars Jamie Malonzo, Calvin Oftana, Chris Newsome, CJ Perez, Poy Erram, Japan B. League stars Dwight Ramos, Ray Parks and Kiefer and Thirdy Ravena, Korean Basketball League sensation Rhenz Abando and the newest member of the pool, AJ Edu.

Kouame will be loaned to Rain or Shine in the next few days as he’ll reinforce the team in the coming William Jones Cup tournament set 12 August in Taipei. The Elasto Painters will represent the PBA in the major international invitational tournament that is normally being participated by our past national squads as well as our local club teams.                  

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