Fri. Jul 19th, 2024
Kai Sotto Gilas Pilipinas

Gilas Pilipinas center Kai Sotto during a game against Lebanon in the fourth window of the Fiba World Cup Asian Qualifiers in Beirut. Photo by Fiba

MANILA, Philippines — Kai Sotto has been cleared to join Gilas Pilipinas in the remainder of its preparation for the Fiba World Cup 2023 starting August 25.

Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas president Al Panlilio on Tuesday announced that the team’s medical team and the 7-foot-3 center’s doctors have cleared Sotto after he suffered from back spasms from his NBA Summer League stint.

“I was there the other night as I’ve said. Everybody was there. Kai [Sotto] was there, Scottie [Thompson] was there, JC [Jordan Clarkson] was there. So the whole 16 players were all there,” said Panlilio during the special edition of the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum at Meralco Multi-Purpose Hall.

“Kai also played. And just to really share, our doctors spoke yesterday to the doctors of Kai, the SBP doctors and he’s been cleared to play. That’s good news. He’s been cleared to play and again,” he added.

“We didn’t see any MRI results. What we wanted to do to really put closure and also move forward and really just focus on the games. Our doctors met. The doctors of Kai and our doctor, doctor Randy Molo met and they’ve cleared him.”

Panlilio bared that the 21-year-old only needs to get in top shape after missing the action for the past few weeks since arriving from Las Vegas, where he played for the Orlando Magic in the Summer League.

“Obviously, what Kai needs to do next ten days is to really improve his fitness because he’s also not been playing. So I think that’s one aspect of the game that he really needs to work on and I think he was working hard the other night, you can see that he’s getting tired at some point but I think that that’s the area that needs to work on in the next days. He’s cleared to play,” he said.

The SBP chief expects Sotto to join the three friendlies of Gilas Pilipinas before the World Cup, facing Ivory Coast, Montenegro, and Mexico

“We’re looking forward to seeing him play also in the friendlies to get ready… I mean for everybody to get ready when the games start on the 25th,” Panlilio said.

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