Kai Sotto confirmed on Instagram that he will be heading to the Philippines soon, with intent to join Gilas Pilipinas Men in the third window of the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers in February.
Sotto, who is currently in the United States as part of the NBA G League team squad Ignite, confirmed that he is aiming to play inside the bubble in Clark, Pampanga against South Korea on Feb. 18 and 22 and Indonesia on Feb. 20.
"I'm so excited to be given the opportunity to be able to play for Gilas this February window. I thank everyone who support and believe in my dream to play for the country, and soon in the NBA," said Sotto in Filipino.
Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas president Al S. Panlilio said the SBP was "elated" by Sotto's announcement and commitment to the national team. He added that Sotto's arrival to the country will be soon, but he still does not know when.
As for his commitments to his G League ignite team, Sotto was reportedly allowed by the G League to honor his previous commitments to Gilas, provided that he flies back immediately to the United States after Gilas' last game. The G League will hold a bubble in Orlando for 17 teams with the tentative start date pegged at Feb. 8.
"They have asked that he [Sotto] immediately report back to the bubble after his last National team game," said Maria Espaldon, CEO of East-West Private (EWP), in a message to ESPN5.com. EWP handles the career of Sotto.
Once Sotto comes home, the 7'3" center will have to quarantine upon his arrival, before he could join the Gilas training pool already practicing at the INSPIRE Sports Academy in Calamba, Laguna.
Inside the bubble are PBA players Kiefer Ravena, CJ Perez, and Justin Chua, along with Gilas draft picks Isaac Go, Rey Suerte, Matt and Mike Nieto. Joining them are Justine Baltazar, Javi Gomez de Liaño, Dave Ildefonso, Will Navarro, Calvin Oftana, Kemark Cariño, and naturalized player candidate Angelo Kouame.
Roger Pogoy, Troy Rosario, and Raul Soyud are set to also join the practice pool on Friday.
ESPN5.com's Eros Villanueva contributed to this article.