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Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Will Kai Sotto get more playing time vs. Angola as Chot Reyes promised?

Kai Sotto will have a chance to have more playing time as Gilas Pilipinas tries to bounce back from a heartbreaking loss and takes on Angola tonight (Sunday) in the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 at the Araneta Coliseum.

Coach Chot Reyes seeks to rectify their large number of turnovers that could hurt their campaign and bid for a slot in the Paris Olympics 2024.

And Reyes said that they would lessen these kinds of errors, which were frequent when they lost to the Dominican Republic, 81-87, before a big crowd at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan on Friday.

In that game, the 7’3” Sotto got in foul trouble early, Jordan Clarkson fouled out and other players like AJ Edu had to step up.

(Kai Sotto: Photo from FIBA)

“The next game and the game after you should be able to see more of him (Sotto),” said Reyes.

Reyes felt that with Sotto’s situation, the 19 turnovers they had with the Dominicanos hurt their team’s game.

The Gilas mentor said they were shooting the ball well and were scoring better than the Dominicanos, who forced them to give up the ball more with their defense, especially in the latter part of the game.

And AJ was almost alone in guarding one of the Dominicanos main main threats, Karl Anthony Towns.

“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?” added Reyes.

This time, Gilas will deal with an Angolan squad that thrives well with their pressure defense. And they will have to learn how to turn the ball over less, against Angola.

“It’s a different team, Angola pressures the ball as much as the Dominican Republic does. So, we have to make adjustments in our offense,” said Reyes before their 8 p.m. clash with Angola.

Angola has a second chance for a first victory following a 67-87 setback to Italy.

The Angolans, coached by Pep Claros, are in the same must-win situation with host Philippines in Group A.
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