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Kai Sotto gains clearance to join Gilas for FIBA WC

August 16 ------ After eventful weeks, it has finally become official: Kai Sotto has been granted clearance to join Gilas Pilipinas for the upcoming 2023 FIBA World Cup, as revealed by Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) President Al Panlilio during the Special PSA Forum held at the Meralco Function Hall.

Panlilio mentioned that the SBP medical professionals have engaged in discussions with Sotto’s team and that the 7-foot-3 player has ultimately received the approval to participate in the global tournament. “As I’ve mentioned, I was there the other night. Everybody was present. Kai Sotto, Scottie Thompson, JC Jordan Clarkson, the whole 16 players were all there. Scottie is in good shape; it’s just a matter of getting back into the basketball groove, but I believe he did play that night,” stated Panlilio. “Kai also played. And to share an update, our doctors spoke with Kai’s doctors yesterday. The SBP doctors have cleared him to play. That’s fantastic news. He’s now cleared to play, and we’re looking forward to seeing him participate in the warm-up matches to prepare… I mean, for everyone’s preparation when the games commence on the 25th,” he added.

Sotto missed Gilas’ series of friendly matches in Estonia and Lithuania, along with the team’s involvement in the Heyuan WUS International Basketball Tournament in China. This absence was due to a persistent back injury he sustained during his tenure with the Orlando Magic in the NBA 2k23 Summer League.

Panlilio mentioned that the former Ateneo standout is already practicing with the team and is expected to play in the squad’s final set of tune-up games in the Philippines.



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