Kai Sotto’s availability for the FIBA Asia Cup in Jakarta next month remains uncertain as Gilas Pilipinas Coach Tab Baldwin will try to discuss the matter with East West Private (EWP) and NBL club Adelaide 36ers.

/ 9 July 2021

Gilas Pilipinas head coach Tab Baldwin said the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) will try to strike a deal with EWP and Sotto’s Australian club Adelaide 36ers regarding his participation in the Asia Cup from August 17 to 29 in Jakarta, Indonesia.

“As have been the case all along, we are in discussions with Kai’s people, his agency. Now, the Adelaide 36ers are involved in the discussion as well,” Baldwin shared on ‘The Link’ podcast.

“And you know poor Kai, he is in the middle of a tug-of-war all the time; very tough for a 19-year-old kid to figure out what the priorities are when everybody wants to be the important guy,” he continued.

The 7-foot-4 big man showed a lot of improvement on his Gilas senior’s debut where he chipped in 9 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 1.5 assists in the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament.

Moreover, Baldwin bared that they are hoping to strike a balance on Sotto’s NBA dream and his desire to play for the national team since the last thing that the SBP wants to happen is to put Sotto in an unfavorable situation once again. 

“We are trying to keep everything as diplomatic as possible. We are trying to service any interest as we can to make sure that Kai continues this pathway of development for his professional career and he is able to fulfill his passion which is very evident now that we’ve actually seen him with the team and playing for the national team,” the decorated coach averred.

“Obviously, our desire to keep Kai involved as much as we can to continue the process of building a chemistry with these group of players,” he added.