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Chot Reyes explains Kai Sotto's limited playtime vs Dominican
Chot Reyes explains Kai Sotto's limited playtime vs Dominican
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Chot Reyes explains Kai Sotto's limited playtime vs Dominican
by Mhillen Nicole Borja26 August 2023

In the thrilling first game of Gilas Pilipinas at the FIBA World Cup, the team's head coach, Chot Reyes, clarified the decision to keep Kai Sotto on the sidelines for most of the match against the Dominican Republic.

Sotto, a towering presence at 7-foot-3, took to the court for the first time with just over four minutes left in the opening quarter. However, his time on the court was short-lived due to two quick fouls, and he had to be subbed out after just over a minute of play.

Reyes explained that two factors led to Sotto's limited appearance in the game: the impressive performances of fellow big men June Mar Fajardo and AJ Edu and Sotto's early foul trouble.

“Kai picked up two quick fouls, so we had to take him out right away. We couldn’t put him back in because this guy to my left (AJ Edu) was playing a great game. I think that’s the reason why he’s here, right?” Reyes stated.

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Fajardo and Edu demonstrated solid plays in the paint, making it a tough decision to give Sotto more playing time against the Dominican Republic.

“Edu was playing really, really well, and if we put Kai in, then the other guy I have to bench is June Mar Fajardo, who scored 16 points in 28 minutes,” he added.

Despite his brief time on the court, Sotto managed a block and one attempt from the field.

However, his second foul resulted in a three-point play for the Dominican Republic's Karl-Anthony Towns.

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Reyes emphasized the challenges of the match, saying, “There’s a reason why Karl-Anthony Towns is an NBA All-Star. Still, we can’t complain about the effort from June Mar and AJ Edu as well, as they defended and tried to stop KAT as much as they could.”

While Sotto's playing time was limited in this particular game, Reyes assured that future matches would likely showcase more of his skills.

“I’m sure a lot of people are going to wonder why, but between benching AJ and June Mar, there was simply no opportunity. The matchups just didn’t favor Kai,“ Reyes explained, ”However, in the next game and the game after that, you should be able to see more of him.”

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