The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) is anticipating the return of Kai Sotto in the Philippines just in time for the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers.

/ 31 January 2021

The SBP special assistant to the president Ryan Gregorio shared to the online show The Chasedown the timetable the federation is working on in relation to the arrival of the 18-year-old Filipino baller.

Moreover, Federation president Al Panlilio has ordered that the 7-foot-3 center must be able to train with Gilas for the Doha window of the Asia Cup Qualifiers.

“There’s a strong marching order from our president Al Panlilio to get him over here and there’s just so many moving parts, and it’s bit of a challenge for us,” he said on Saturday.

Gregorio noted that Sotto and his camp have cleared every hurdle in bringing the Filipino wunderkind home and allow him to train with the current national team pool.

Merong US protocols and Philippine protocols na kailangang intindihin, but sa management team ni Kai, we’ve gotten a very good response from East West Private led by Ms. Chao Espaldon,” he said.

“It’s taking longer than expected because of the pandemic and we’re supposed to be cautious, but hopefully by early next week, we’ll see Kai in the Philippines.”

Given the short time for Sotto’s arrival date, especially with Gilas expected flight for Qatar five days before the competition proper, Gregorio will make sure that the SBP won’t be making any shortcuts when it comes to Sotto following the quarantine protocols.

Kailangang umabot siya, but we’re strictly going to follow the guidelines from the government,” he said. “Ang importante dito, as soon as possible we can get him in the Philippines and we’ll see it from there.”