MANILA, Philippines – Kai Sotto hasn’t come up with big numbers for Team Ignite yet, but head coach Brian Shaw remains happy with his progress since joining their squad.
Sotto had six points and six rebounds in Ignite’s most recent fight, a huge 125-99 loss to a team full of G League veterans. Jonathan Kuminga led the young group with 21 points while Jalen Green added 20 points.
The Philippine center shot the fewest shots among Ignite prospects, walking only one in three off the field, while Green made eight of his 18 attempts and Kuminga was six of 13. Daishen Nix was four out of 13 for 10 points and Isaiah Todd went four out of 11 for 13 points.
“The way the game is going, he’s not going to come up with particularly good numbers in a situation like this because it’s a guard game,” Shaw said of Sotto, who had five points and five rebounds in Team Ignite’s first fight with the G League -Veterans last week.
Even so, Sotto’s limited contributions to the offensive don’t paint the whole picture, Shaw says. While he doesn’t come up with big numbers on the offense, the manager has praised his influence on the defensive end by blocking and changing shots.
After her second game against the G League veterans, Shaw praised Sotto’s skills and basketball IQ.
“You know, you can’t really judge him by how many points he gets here and there. He’s getting stronger, he’s getting a better understanding, he’s getting better, “he added.
“And I’m really impressed with his abilities for a man his size,” Shaw said of Sotto.
The 7-foot-2 sotto decided in 2019 to focus on its NBA dream and leave the Philippines to train in the US. Last May, he bypassed college to play in the G League with Team Ignite alongside other top players.
It remains to be seen whether one year in the G League will be enough for the 18-year-old Sotto. At the moment, his name rarely appears in mock drafts for the 2021 NBA Rookie Draft.
NBA G League, Draft, Philippines
News – PH – Kai Sotto cannot be judged on the basis of the raw data, says coach