Kai Sotto makes life easier for Gilas playmaker RJ Abarrientos
MANILA, Philippines – A handful of Kai Sotto’s baskets on his Gilas Pilipinas debut were facilitated by RJ Abarrentos who provided the spark on the National Five bench in the conquest of South Korea on Wednesday night.
But the astute playmaker insists he was just playing with Sotto’s forces.
“First of all, Kai’s basketball IQ, the way he makes us of himself inside (is quite an advantage),” he said in a video interview with Samahang Basketbol. ng Pilipinas published in the media.
Abarrentos said he is actively researching Sotto in several possessions, even using the 7-foot-3 for ball screens. And that’s understandable.
“He has improved a lot,” he said. “His IQ really shows in his game.”
Abarrentos had six points in the game with three assists and a rebound.
Sotto, meanwhile, had 11 points, seven boards and a pair of dimes.
That was quite the stat line for two 21-year-olds who defended themselves against a team made up of a very experienced squad.
The South Korean team was on average 25 years old.
Ultimately, Abarrentos said it was Gilas’ bond that kept them in the thick of things.
“Our connection was a big factor (in winning),” he said. “The way we are connected to each other, with what we do in defense and in attack.”
“We were playing against an older team. It was really important that we were together and communicated on the ground, ”he said.
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