Kai Sotto is going to absolutely dominate Asia, says Tim Cone

Kai Sotto’s standout performances during the FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers’ first window have left Gilas Pilipinas head coach Tim Cone thoroughly impressed.

The 7-foot-3 center’s back-to-back double-double displays in blowout wins over Hong Kong and Chinese Taipei have solidified Cone’s belief in Sotto’s ability to excel on the continental stage.

“He is going to absolutely dominate Asia. I’ve always felt that. If you get him in the right spots, he can absolutely dominate Asia,” said Cone.

Despite being the youngest member of the team at just 21 years old, Sotto stepped up admirably in the absence of injured big men June Mar Fajardo and AJ Edu.

In a commanding 106-53 victory against Chinese Taipei on February 25, Sotto showcased his skills with 18 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists, and 3 blocks. This stellar performance was a follow up of his impressive showing of 13 points, 15 rebounds, and 2 blocks in a dominant win over Hong Kong on February 22.

Cone expressed his commitment to supporting Sotto as he continues to develop as a player for the Yokohama B-Corsairs in Japan’s B. League.

“For him, the next part is to get up to the European level and the NBA level. We’re hoping that we could help him get into that level,” said Cone.

“There may be a time where we might lose Kai, he may not be able to join windows because he might be in the NBA. And we’ll be very, very proud of that,” added the 25-time PBA champion mentor.

Sotto, a key figure in Cone’s strategic vision for the national team over the next four years, has spoken of his soaring confidence under the guidance of his experienced coach.

This newfound self-assurance has clearly translated into Sotto’s exceptional on-court contributions, hinting at even greater potential ahead for the promising young talent.

“Even if he does not tell me personally, I know that coach Tim has a lot of trust in me and I have a lot of trust in him as well,” said Sotto.

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