Sotto and Green could steer PH Basketball path to NBA, says Phoenix Suns Coach Williams

Kai Sotto and Jalen Green will pave the way for more Filipino talents to enter NBA, says Phoenix Suns Head Coach Montey Williams.

/ 11 October 2020

The 18-year-old Sotto takes a leap landing in the G-league rather than dribbling himself in a US college basketball team. His decision starts the ball rolling for more Filipino playmakers to join the NBA.

Signing with the G-League Select Team basketball program that develops the next generation of elite prospects could make Sotto the first-ever homegrown Filipino to be drafted into the NBA.

Fil-American, Green, on the other hand, inspires next-generation of ballers as he played for his motherland in the FilAm Sports from 2018 and 2019 of the NBTC National.

From the accolades and his great playing skills, his young career gave him the opportunity to showcase his prowess in the NBA G-League selection program last April.

Coach Williams mentioned the two in his interview with Republika Huddle podcast, that their comprisal to the groundbreaking G-League will make an exceptional pioneering era for Philippine Basketball.

“I think anytime you have one or two guys breakthrough and you just continue to work and continue to have the enthusiasm and the environment. At some point, you can end up like Canada,” Williams mentioned in his interview.  

“There was a time where Canadians, they are just north of the border, there weren’t that many Canadians who had pushed themselves into the level of high-level college players,” he added.

He quoted that Canada has ever since steadily produced world-class talents in the league like Golden State Warriors’ Andrew Wiggins and the Denver Nuggets’ Jamal Murray.

During the 2019-2020 NBA Season, the hockey country represents the most number of non-US players to join NBA teams.

“It’s like, it’s just starting to happen every year. It started with one or two guys back in the day,” Williams continued.

The 48-year-old Williams wants the same path for the Philippines and believes that if all efforts for the players are further thriven and sustained, the Philippines could turn out to be the next Canada in the NBA.

“If you guys continue with your programs, camps, and seeds of fundamentals, just staying with that. Now that you have a few examples, you might end up having your own pipeline and that’s exciting. Think about your country having 10, 12, 15 guys in the NBA. How cool will that be,” said the Notre Dame former standout.

It is a benefit that there is a program like G-League to take in not just Filipinos but all players around the globe to have a chance of reaching their NBA dream.

“You have guys from around the world that get to be on that platform, and they’re gonna be seen. We watch those games because we’re watching our young players play in the G-League so when you’re watching those games, we get to see other players. So, I think it creates a great platform for players from all over the world to play and give themselves a chance to get to the NBA,”

Sotto and Green will join the beat in the 2020-2021 Season G-League’s Ignite team coached by Brian Shaw along with Isaiah Todd, Congolese Jonathan Kuminga, Indian Princepal Singh, and Daishen Nix which reportedly happen at Walnut Creek, California.