Kai Sotto will anchor a Gilas Pilipinas Men’s team reinforced by seven PBA players in the 5th window of the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers.
The 20-year old NBA aspirant, who is currently on his second season with the Adelaide 36ers in Australia’s National Basketball League, will join PBA players Scottie Thompson, Japeth Aguilar and Jamie Malonzo of Brgy. Ginebra, Roger Pogoy, Calvin Oftana, and Poy Erram of TNT and CJ Perez of San Miguel.
Coming back for another tour of duty are Japan B.League imports Thirdy Ravena, Bobby Ray Parks and Dwight Ramos.
Rounding up the team are collegiate standouts Angelo Kouame of Ateneo and Kevin Quiambao of La Salle with the former also serving as the naturalized player.
The group left on Monday for Amman, Jordan where they’ll take on the Jordanians on November 10 (midnight of November 11 in Manila).
Gilas will then proceed to Jeddah to take on host Saudi Arabia on November 13 (midnight of November 14 in Manila).
Included in the 20-man training pool but begged off due to injuries were San Miguel’s June Mar Fajardo, Meralco’s Chris Newsome, UP’s Carl Tamayo and Kiefer Ravena.
Final cuts were NorthPort’s William Navarro and Arvin Tolentino and Francis Lopez.
Gilas is currently tied with Jordan for 3rd place both with identical 3-3 records. New Zealand is on top with an immaculate slate after 6 outings while Lebanon is in second place with a 5-1 card. Saudi Arabia and India occupy the cellar with 1-5 and 0-6 records, respectively.
The final window of the Asian Qualifiers will be held in February 2023. The top 3 teams from each group in the second round, along with the Philippines and Japan, will qualify for the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 which will be held in Manila on August 25 to September 10.