Kai Sotto hopeful schedule lines up for potential Gilas stint

Gilas Pilipinas is set to suit up once again in February for another window within a bubble in Clark, Pampanga to finish off their 2021 FIBA Asia Cup qualifying campaign, and G League Ignite prospect Kai Sotto is hopeful that the stars will align and he would be available for the national team.

"It's a higher probability for me to play in this upcoming window, but it also depends on the schedule," Sotto said during a media session Thursday. "Because they said we might have a G League season next year, so it just depends on the schedule."

Sotto has been training with the G League Ignite -- a one-year program dedicated to developing top NBA prospects -- under the watchful eye of former Denver Nuggets head coach Brian Shaw since August in California.

The G League has yet to announce plans of how to go about their season amidst the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

Despite being away from the Philippines, Sotto says he has kept tabs on Gilas and was impressed by their twin victories against Thailand in the recently concluded bubble window last November at Manama, Bahrain.

"I am really proud of what they showed," Sotto said. "I think everybody was players from college, not pros, it's been a great two games for them and I am really impressed of how they did."

"It is just really exciting to see when it comes to the future, you see an even brighter future for the country when it comes to playing in international tournaments."

FIBA announced on Friday morning that the final qualifying window for the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup will be held in bubble settings anew. The Philippines will host Groups A and C at Clark, the site of the recently concluded PBA bubble, from February 18-22.

Gilas Pilipinas currently sits atop Group A with a perfect 3-0 slate, while South Korea sits at second place with a 2-0 record despite begging off from the Bahrain window last November. Indonesia are third with a 1-3 slate, while Thailand are rooted at the bottom with four losses.