Filipino teen prodigy Kai Sotto is making his professional basketball debut with the Adelaide 36ers in the Australia’s National Basketball League (NBL) with two things in mind – representing the country well and realizing his ultimate goal of playing in the NBA.

Photo from Adelaide 36ers

The 7’3 wunderkind said that he is keen on improving himself while in front of the quality competition in the NBL, in hopes of turning heads from NBA scouts and increasing his stocks ahead of next year’s NBA draft.

“The long-term goal is always to make it to the NBA. Hopefully next year or the following year. That’s the ultimate dream,” said Sotto in an article published on the NBL website.

The focus right now for the 19-year-old center is to make an immediate impact for the 36ers in the 2021-2022 Season of the NBL.

Sotto, however, will have to fight for his spot in the 36ers rotation especially with three-time All-NBL First Team member Daniel Johnson and former NBA player Isaac Humphries also in the fold.

The Filipino teen is banking on his height and defensive prowess to be his strengths in his first season as a pro.

“I’m a rookie so I’ll start with my specialty, which is defense and rim protection. Offensively we’re a good team and we share the ball so offense will come to us naturally. Right now, I’m just trying to be the best player that I can be every day,” he added.

All eyes will also be on Sotto as he will also be the first Filipino to play in the NBL. The Gilas Pilipinas stalwart is eager to represent the country well.

“I’m going to be playing in the NBL and I’m the only Filipino to play here. The performance that I show will reflect on the Philippines so I have to make sure that I play the right way and play my best every time I step on the court,” Sotto furthered.

Sotto will have the chance to get his feet wet when his 36ers take part in the NBL Blitz Pre-season Games on November 14 to 18 before officially making his debut against Tasmania JackJumpers in the season opener on December 3.

Source: Manila Bulletin (