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Kai Sotto won't rejoin Ignite in NBA G League

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Following a "mutual decision", the NBA G League announced on Tuesday that Filipino basketball sensation Kai Sotto would not be joining the Ignite professional pathway program in the league's ongoing bubble season in Orlando, Florida, according to a report by Philippine News Agency.

The development came amid the uncertainty of the 18-year-old, seven-foot-three center making the team after Gilas Pilipinas Men called off their bubble training due to the postponement of the third window of the FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers (ACQ).

Last month, Sotto suddenly announced that he is joining Gilas Men for an ACQ bubble, which was initially supposed to happen in Angeles, Pampanga before it was moved to Doha.

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However, due to a rise in the coronavirus disease 2019 cases in the Qatari capital, the Qatar Basketball Federation let go of its hosting rights, and the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas eventually reclaimed the hosting rights to the Group A games, where the Gilas Men are placed in, although it meant that their games had to be rescheduled.

Following the postponement, Gilas Men called off their practice in Calamba, Laguna, prompting Sotto to return to the United States to possibly rejoin Ignite once he clears the mandatory quarantine.

However, the G League announcement dashed the hopes.

"Kai and the team both understood the challenges for him to rejoin Ignite given the international travel constraints, quarantine times, and health and safety protocols," G League commissioner Shareef Abdur-Rahim said.

The former NBA star hinted that Sotto has just left the team as well.

"Kai will always be a part of the extended Ignite family, and we wish him continued success as he pursues his NBA dreams," Abdur-Rahim added.

The Ignite squad, which still has some Filipino firepower in it in projected lottery pick Jalen Green, is currently in fifth place in the G League standings at 5-3. 


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