The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas plans to have Kai Sotto suit up for Gilas Pilipinas in the third window of the FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers and the Olympic Qualifying Tournament slated in the middle of the year.
SBP president Al Panlilio said after the PBA planning session held Tuesday, March 10 that Sotto is part of the pool for both tournaments which will see Gilas field an all-amateur lineup due to a conflict in the pro league’s schedule.
“He is part of the list so we have to talk to him and reach out to him again,” said Panlilio. “We haven’t finalize the calendar yet and once we do we will share to him what the plan is, and depending on what he’s doing, align that with ours.
“But like I said in the past, he’s welcome to join us and he’s part of the pool,” added Panlilio, who said that Gilas has a pool of about 20 to 25 players.
Sotto was supposed to reinforce Gilas last month for the third window of the continental qualifiers in Doha that was later cancelled due to the a spike of COVID-19 cases in Qatar.
The Doha cancellation created more dilemma for Sotto, who opted for Gilas duties instead of playing for the Ignite in the NBA G League bubble in Florida.
Sotto eventually dind not suit up in the G League after heading back to the United States in the aftermath of Doha’s decision.
The SBP will host the third window in Clark, Pampanga which likely takes place in mid-June before Gilas heads to Belgrade, Serbia for the OQT. The Philippines got the spot after New Zealand opted to pull out of the Olympic qualifier. (J. Terrado, mb.com)