Kai Sotto to skip NBA Summer League, chooses to play for Gilas

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Kai Sotto during his Gilas Pilipinas’ stint. –FIBA BASKETBALL PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — Kai Sotto won’t be playing in the 2022 NBA Summer League in July after committing to play for Gilas Pilipinas.

Moments after Sotto’s name was not called in the 2022 NBA Draft, his handler Joel Bell revealed to PlayItRight TV that he received several invites for the 7-foot-3 center in the Summer League.

However, Bell said the 20-year-old will skip the tournament and instead play for the Philippine men’s basketball team.

“I’ve already got several Summer league invites for him. But Kai has decided to play for the Filipino national team,” the agent told Quinito Henson and Gretchen Ho.

“That’s his commitment and he’s very dedicated towards Filipino things, Filipino pride, Filipino activities. He’s gonna pass up the Summer league and play with the Philippine national team,” he added.

Most NBA aspirants — even the undrafted players — take their acts to the Summer League for a chance to impress the coaches and scouts. 

Surprisingly, Sotto, who is dreaming to become the first Filipino homegrown talent to play in the NBA, is skipping this path.

Sotto won’t also take two-way or exhibit 10 contracts from the NBA, according to Bell.

Bell hopes the Filipino fans would respect Sotto’s decision to play for the country. His agent, however, didn’t disclose which tournament will Sotto suit up in for Gilas Pilipinas.

The men’s national basketball team will play in the third window of the Fiba Asia World Cup qualifiers against New Zealand on June 30 in Auckland and against India on July 3 at Mall of Asia Arena.

Gilas will also compete in the Fiba Asia Cup 2022 from July 12 to 24 in Jakarta, Indonesia.

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