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Kai nowhere in sight in Gilas’ return to practice

Gilas Pilipinas returns to practice on Monday, but without 7-foot-3 NBA aspirant Kai Sotto. (Photo by Rey Joble)

Kai Sotto, the 7-foot-3 center, National Basketball Association aspirant, was nowhere in sight on Monday as people were all in anticipation to see the second generation cager to return to Gilas Pilipinas training.

Instead, he kept everyone hanging and wondering what would be his next plans.

“I don’t want to comment on it, let’s just wait for Kai,” said Gilas Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes when asked about the future of Sotto playing for Gilas.

Sotto appeared on Thursday last week and watched Gilas play Ateneo in a tune up game at the Moro Lorenzo Gym, but his dad, former Philippine Basketball Association center Ervin Sotto, confirmed to Daily Tribune that his son will take a few days off as his back is still being nagged by an injury.

Gilas are expected to leave 1 August, but Reyes had initially set a timeline of 25 July to ideally have everybody all in and get at least a full month of training before competing in the FIBA World Cup.

“That’s not a deadline as in a hard deadline, ” sad Reyes referring to date he set earlier to hopefully get everyone on board. “But in our minds, the coaching staff, it’s just the kind of time that we need to put together our best preparation before the World Cup. But even before that, we’ve already been preparing, practicing because we know that there are going to be a lot of contingencies that come into putting this team together.”

Sotto wasn’t present and naturalized player Justin Brownlee couldn’t finish the two-hour session and sat most of the time, but the rest of the pool members continued to work out.

Scottie Thompson, sidelined by a fractured right ring finger, was also in attendance, but sat out just as expected, his two fingers, heavily taped up while trying to shoot using the left hand in between lulls of the training session.

Ange Kouame, the other naturalized player, practiced in his last day with Gilas before joining Rain or Shine starting Tuesday as part of the team that will represent the PBA in the William Jones Cup set 12 August.

Also present were mainstays June Mar Fajardo and Japeth Aguilar, Jamie Malonzo, CJ Perez, Calvin Oftana, Roger Pogoy, Chris Newsome, 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.








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