G-League Ignite head coach Brian Shaw was surprised to know of Kai Sotto’s commitment to join the Philippines’ men’s national basketball team.
"That’s news to me. I haven’t heard that yet," Shaw said during a recent media availability session.
"That’s a good thing if he wants to play and represent his country and try to help them qualify for the upcoming international events. As much basketball as Kai is going to play is going to benefit him," the veteran coach and player added.
However, Shaw also shared that the promising 18-year old would benefit more from the tough competition he will be facing in the G-League. If and when Sotto joins the Gilas Pilipinas for the February window, this might mean he’d miss games for the Ignite in the G-League.
"I still believe that the competition he will be playing here in the bubble will be better competition than what he will be playing there. That’s the decision he will make and we will have to live with," Shaw said.
Even though Sotto’s numbers in the Ignite’s practice games against G League veterans have not been stellar, Shaw admitted feeling impressed by what he’s seen from the lithe 7-foot-2 center.
"The way the game goes, he is not going to put up super great numbers in a situation like this because it’s a guard game. He doesn’t get as many touches as everyone does," said Shaw.
"But you can see his skillset, his IQ. He does a lot of good things out there on the court. You can’t really judge him by how many points he gets here and there. He is getting stronger and getting better understanding. He’s improving and I’m really, really impressed with his skillset for a guy his size," he added. (JNP)