MANILA, Philippines – The Adelaide 36ers have given assurances that there will be no scheduling issues once Kai Sotto is called up for national team duties.
Sotto, who has yet to make his senior debut for Gilas Pilipinas, announced on Wednesday that he will join Australia’s National Basketball League 36ers after leaving the G League Ignite in February this year.
Adelaide general manager Jeff Van Gronigen said the team have been used to working with the Boomers in the past as center Isaac Humphries and goalkeeper Josh Giddey also play for the national team.
“Our club is working with the Philippine national team program,” Van Gronigen said in a virtual press conference. “We’re used to this, we have a lot of players from the Australian Boomers National Team who are also Adelaide 36ers players. So we are used to working in the windows of FIBA, we are used to communicating with the coaches, we know the coaches very well.
Not only does Van Gronigen know the Boomers, he also knows Gilas Pilipinas director Tab Baldwin.
He and 36ers head coach Conner Henry knew Baldwin even before Sotto was considered part of Adelaide’s roster.
Baldwin has extensive coaching experience in the international game, having coached New Zealand from 2001 to 2006 and was also a five-time New Zealand NBL champion from 1995 to 2000, with 1998 being the only year he didn’t. failed to win a championship.
“I went to see Tab a few years ago, before Kai Sotto was even thought of for the Adelaide 36ers,” Van Gronigen said.
Sotto reaffirmed his commitment to Gilas Pilipinas after joining the team in February before leaving Ignite.
“I respect Tab enormously and Tab’s has also worked for many years balancing the needs of club teams around the world with the US national programs, both in New Zealand and in the Philippines, so we are very comfortable. to integrate players from national teams into our program, ”said Van Gronigen.
“If a player is a national team player, it means he is a good player. So we are working and making sure that our two clubs – the national club and its pro club – are respected, and we expect that to happen, we know that it will happen both ways.
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