Kai Sotto Ready to Suit Up for Gilas in FIBA World Cup

Kai Sotto, the 7-foot-3 Filipino phenom, has been given the green light to play for Gilas Pilipinas in the 2023 FIBA World Cup, according to the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP).

SBP President Al Panlilio confirmed that Sotto has passed the medical clearance and will join the national team in its bid to make history in the global basketball tournament.

“Kai is good to go. He’s very excited to represent the country and show his skills on the world stage,” Panlilio said in a press conference on Tuesday, August 15.

Sotto, who played for the Adelaide 36ers in the 2023 NBA Summer League, suffered a back injury that sidelined him for most of the games. He was able to join the Gilas practices but was limited to non-contact drills.

Panlilio said Sotto has recovered well and will be able to play in the tune-up games against China and France before the World Cup.

“We’re happy that he’s healthy and ready. He will be a big boost for our team, especially with his size and versatility,” Panlilio said.

Sotto will team up with Fil-Am NBA star Jordan Clarkson, who was granted permission by the Utah Jazz to play for Gilas. Clarkson, who was born in Tampa, Florida, has a Filipino mother and holds a Philippine passport.

The duo will lead Gilas in its quest to advance from Group A, which also includes Dominican Republic, Serbia and Angola. The top two teams from each group will qualify for the second round.

The 2023 FIBA World Cup will be held from August 25 to September 10 in four host countries: Philippines, Japan, Indonesia and India.

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