Kai Sotto suffers back injury, held scoreless in final NBA Summer League game

The Orlando Magic lost 94-77 to the Boston Celtics on Sunday, July 16 (Manila time) at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, bringing Kai Sotto’s 2023 NBA Summer League participation to a close.

Two days after making his long-awaited debut, the Filipino center went scoreless in limited action due to back pain that reportedly kept him on the bench for the second half.

After three minutes and forty-four seconds off the bench in the first quarter, Sotto recorded 2 rebounds and 1 block while the Magic led 20-16.

The 7-foot-3 center returned to the court late in the second quarter and recorded 1 assist while remaining scoreless in 3 shots in 8 minutes of action.

Orlando suffered its fifth consecutive loss in the preseason tournament, first to the Detroit Pistons (89-78) and then to the Indiana Pacers (108-85), during which the Filipino crowd chanted “We want Sotto.”

The Magic were unable to break through and fell to the New York Knicks 82-80 in overtime before the Gilas big man made the most of his debut in an 88-71 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers.

In his first opportunity after sitting out three consecutive games, Sotto recorded 6 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist, and three 3 in 13 minutes and 23 seconds.

The 21-year-old NBA hopeful was invited to play for the Magic after attending training camps for the Dallas Mavericks, Utah Jazz, and New York Knicks in the weeks preceding the invitation.

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