Set to play his first NBL season, Filipino wunderkind Kai Sotto is not losing sight of fulfilling his NBA dreams as he vows to get better during his campaign with the Adelaide 36ers.

/ 12 November 2021

“The long-term goal is always to make it to the NBA, hopefully next year or the following year. That’s the ultimate dream,” Sotto said in the NBL media.

The 19-year-old baller, though tempered with expectations as he has to fight for a spot in the Adelaide 36ers in the National Basketball League (NBL) that featured lots of best big men including Daniel Johnson and Isaac Humphries.

“I’m a rookie so I’ll start with my specialty, which is defense and rim protection. Offensively, we’re a good team and we share the ball so the offense will come to us naturally,” he shared.

“Right now, I’m just trying to be the best player that I can be every day. Just trying to be 0.001-percent better every day. Before I sleep at night I just make sure that I did my best to help myself and help other people get better,” he continued.

The 7-foot-3 Sotto relished every moment he sparred with the other 36ers bigs particularly Humphries and Johnson.

“The best match-up I’ve had on this team is Daniel Johnson. Just guarding Daniel Johnson is a challenge for me every day. You can’t predict what he’s going to do because he can pass, he can shoot, he can post up and he’s got good strength,” Sotto said.

“Going to practice and guarding him is a challenge but when we play with each other, now that’s a good feeling. That’s a good sight to see,” he added.

Aside from them, the squad also has Cameron Bairstow, Todd Withers, and Emmanuel Malou.

Right now, Sotto seeks to make a mark in his rookie season with the Adelaide 36ers. 

“Right now, I’m going to be playing in the NBL and I’m the only Filipino to play here. The performance that I show will reflect on the Philippines so I have to make sure that I play the right way and play my best every time I step on the court,” he said.

Sotto and his team will start their NBL campaign on December 3 where they will face Tasmania JackJumpers.