Kai Sotto posted decent numbers in his first international game after leading Batang Gilas to a 108-42 romp over Singapore at the start of the 4th Southeast Asia Basketball Association (SEABA) Championship Under-16 tournament on Sunday at the Araneta Coliseum.
The 6’11 Ateneo de Manila High School center finished with 17 points, five rebounds and three blocks to lead the team of head coach Mike Oliver.
“We had a good start and hopefully we improve more in our next game,” said Sotto, son of former Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) cager Ervin Sotto.
“My father just told me to play my usual game and don’t change it. I just have give more effort,” he added.
Batang Gilas erected a 33-12 after the first quarter and ended the half with a 56-26 advantage.
The young Filipino dribblers outscored the Singaporeans in the third canto, 28-9, to carry a 84-35 cushion entering the payoff period.
Sotto scored five straight points late in the fourth period to give the Philippines a 106-41 spread under two minutes remaining.
“Defensively, we achieved what we have wanted to do in the game but we still struggled a bit in our offense. But I’m glad we were able to follow our game plan,” said Oliver.
“Hopefully, we sustained the same aggression in our next games,” he added.
Rence Padrigao added 14 points, six assists, four steals, three rebounds and two blocks for the host team while Terrence Fortea added 14 points and eight rebounds. Rafael Go had 11 points, while Recaredo Christian Calimag, Mclaude Guadana and Jose Miguel Pascual contributed nine points each also for Philippines.
Batang Gilas, as expected, dominated the stats with more rebounds (68-43), assists (30-8), steals (17-10) and blocks (10-4).
No Singaporean managed to hit double figures with Bryan Tzee Loong and Tor Lok Yao finishing with nine points each. In the first game, Malaysia edged Indonesia, 63-58, to share the top spot with the Philippines.