Kai’s Gilas plan surprises G League coach

John Bryan Ulanday (The Philippine Star) – December 19, 2020 – 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Though surprised by the news of Kai Sotto’s commitment with Gilas Pilipinas, NBA G League Ignite coach Brian Shaw threw support to his prized ward’s plan to come home and play for Team Phl in the third window of the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers in February.

“That’s news to me. I haven’t heard that yet,” said Shaw. “That’s a good thing if he wants to play and represent his country and try to help them qualify for the upcoming international events. As much basketball as Kai is going to play, that’s going to benefit him.”

The 18-year-old Sotto on Thursday announced he’s joining the Nationals for the next Asia Cup Qualifiers window to be held here in a bubble setup in Clark, Pampanga on Feb. 18-22.

Shaw, a five-time NBA champion as a player and coach, however, believes the “better competition”  is still in the G League tipped to open early next year inside a bubble in Atlanta, Georgia – the schedule in possible conflict with the FIBA window.

“I still believe that the competition he will be playing here in the bubble will be better competition than what he will be playing there,” added Shaw.

With continuous G League training and exposure, Shaw expects Sotto to improve for a mission to be the first Filipino homegrown cager to make the NBA.     

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