Ahead of the NBA G League bubble in February, it emerged that G League Ignite prospect Kai Sotto would briefly leave the team to represent the Philippines internationally. Schedule clashes mean that Sotto is set to miss part of the Orlando bubble. A bubble that will feature 17 G League teams, as well as Ignite.
Gilas Pilipinas were originally scheduled to host FIBA Asia Cup 2021 qualifying games between February 17-22 in Clark, Pampanga. However, since, they have withdrawn their hosting duties due to a government imposed travel ban.
At present time, it is unknown where and when the games will take place. This is with Sotto having already left the Ignite camp in Walnut Creek, California to return to the Philippines.
Coach Shaw’s Comments:
In a G League Ignite media availability on January 27, Head Coach Brian Shaw spoke about Sotto’s international situation. “One of the things before all of these guys entered the program was that we weren’t going to hold anybody back,” Shaw said.
“We commend our players from wanting to represent their countries. That’s a decision that Kai and his team thought was important for him, so we support it,” Shaw said in encouragement of Sotto’s decision to represent Gilas Pilipinas.
“Unfortunately, a lot of it is during the time of when we’re going to be in the bubble. We’re just wishing him the best. We want him to do well in those competitions. With the timing when he comes back, we’ll see what happens then.”
Shaw acknowledged that the 7-foot-3 center will miss part of the bubble, but his return date is unknown. He mentioned that there could be a potential extended international quarantine period that Kai Sotto may face upon returning stateside.
G League Ignite will start the 2020-21 G League season against Jeremy Lin and the Santa Cruz Warriors on February 10. Ignite will compete to be among the top eight teams eligible for a single-elimination playoff, beginning on March 8. The G League Final will take place on March 11.
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