Kai Sotto set to attend Gilas practice on Monday despite back issues

Kai Sotto in attendance during the PVL Invitational Conference finals

Kai Sotto in attendance during the PVL Invitational Conference finals. –MARLO CUETO/INQUIRER.net

MANILA, Philippines — Kai Sotto will attend the Gilas Pilipinas training on Monday for the first time.

The 7-foot-3 center on Sunday graced the final day of the Premier Volleyball League (PVL) Invitational Conference at Philsports Arena with his sister.

“Bukas. May training bukas, punta ako bukas (Tomorrow. There’s training tomorrow, I will go),” Sotto told reporters.

Sotto has been in Manila since Tuesday last week but he has yet to join the national team’s World Cup build-up.

The 20-year-old big man said he is elated to join the team but still working his way to 100 percent from back issues that he sustained in the NBA Summer League with the Orlando Magic.

“Always excited. Ako naman, hinihintay ko lang talaga na mag-heal ang likod ko dahil gusto ko ng 100% pagdating sa mga games,” said Sotto. “Hinihintay ko lang talaga, nag-rehab ako and everything. So sana pagdating ng World Cup, ok na, 100 percent na.”

(I’m always excited. I was just waiting for my back to heal so that I can be at my 100% percent when the games come. I’m just waiting. I did rehab and everything. So hopefully when the World Cup comes, I’m 100 percent.)

Sotto said he will find out in his first practice if he will be able to join Gilas Pilipinas in a pocket tournament in China with the team flying out on Tuesday.

“Di ko pa sure. Pag-uusapan bukas after practice,” Sotto said. 

“Last communication namin [with coach Chot], sabi ko magpa-practice ako kahit na may iniinda pa rin ako sa likod. At least, I’ll still be there and gawin kung ano ang makakaya ko,” he added.

(I’m not yet sure. We’ll talk about it tomorrow after practice. In our last communication, I said I’ll attend practice even if I still have issues with my back. I’ll still be there and I’ll do what I can.)

Gilas will see action in the World Cup from August 25 to September 10.

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