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SBP '100 percent behind Kai Sotto' after Ignite fallout

The SBP remains supportive of Kai Sotto. FIBA (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--Even if Kai Sotto's NBA G-League stint hit a huge road block through a "mutual decision" of him not rejoining Ignite in the ongoing league bubble in Orlando, the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas assured that they will remain supportive of the young giant in his NBA bid.

"The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas will always be 100% behind Kai Sotto as he pursues his NBA dream," the SBP said in a statement.

The drama between Sotto and Ignite began when he announced last month that he will be playing for Gilas Pilipinas Men for the third window of the FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers.

He eventually packed his bags for Calamba to join the national team in its bubble training, putting his Ignite stint in peril as the G-League season was about to start then.

"When Kai announced via social media that he wanted to come home to play for Gilas Pilipinas Men, we welcomed him with open arms because he’ll always have a home with us at the SBP," the SBP further said.

The uncertainty of him rejoining the NBA prospects-bolstered squad escalated when the games for Group A, where Gilas Men are a part of, were postponed along with those of Groups B and E after Qatar begged off from hosting a bubble due to the rising COVID-19 cases in Doha.

Following the adjournment of team practices, Sotto quickly made his way back to Orlando in hopes of still joining Ignite at least for the latter part of the G-League season, but with a reported tough quarantine rules before actually making it back, both Ignite and Sotto agreed for him not to play in the bubble anymore.

"Although we are saddened with the recent announcement that he will no longer be rejoining Ignite in the NBA G-League, we still wish Kai all the best and we will support him in any way we can," the SBP further said. "Even at his young age, Kai has shown amazing grit and determination to pursue his dreams and we have complete trust that he’ll do us proud."

The SBP then said the same would be done to other Filipino players looking to carve a career overseas.

"The same is true for any Filipino basketball player chasing their dreams on the international stage. Whatever may happen to their respective paths, they can always be sure that the SBP will be there to provide them a stage where they could perform for their Filipino fans," the governing body further said.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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