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Kai Sotto will wait for his chance to show his worth

LIKE a pro that he is, Kai Sotto will wait for his elusive chance to show his worth in the NBA Summer League.

After logging two straight DNP-CDs (Did not play – Coach’s Decision), the 7-foot-3 Filipino pride is preaching patience as he vowed to stay ready for when his number could finally be called by the Orlando Magic.

“I’m just trying to show the coaches that I’m a good teammate and I’m a good player. I’ll be ready whenever they call my name. I’ll be the positive guy on the bench,” Mr. Sotto said in the video posted by NBA Philippines.

“I’m just like a sponge, man. I’m just trying to learn from everybody, from all the things that’s happening to us.”

Mr. Sotto, the tallest in Orlando’s 22-man roster, is one of the highly-anticipated players in the Summer League, especially by the passionate Filipino fans around the world and in Las Vegas.

A bevy of Pinoy supporters showed up at the Thomas and Mack Arena on Tuesday only to see no action from their 21-year-old kababayan after another benching by the Magic in a lopsided 108-85 loss to the Indiana Pacers.

Chants of “We want Sotto” erupted in the arena in the middle of the match but Mr. Sotto was still not fielded as Orlando fell to 0-2 after an 89-78 loss to the Detroit Pistons over the weekend.

Mr. Sotto, who went undrafted last year before gaining another shot to become the first Filipino homegrown player in the NBA with an invite from the Magic, could not be grateful enough for the unwavering support and faith from the Filipino fans.

“I mean I feel like everywhere I go I represent the Philippines, so I just have to be aware of my actions,” he beamed.

“I’ll be really happy to see a lot of Filipinos here to come to watch our games and support. It’s just a blessing each day to represent my country and to have a lot of people believe in me.”

For now, Mr. Sotto in his Summer League debut is not resting on his laurels to stay game-ready in the remaining games of Orlando starting today against New York before going up against Portland tomorrow.

“Just to see a lot of people watching and just a lot of talent in one gym is pretty cool. And as I said, here in the Summer League, I just got to put in the work and stay ready when the coach calls my name,” he said. — John Bryan Ulanday

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