02 - 08
April 2018
11 Kai Zachary Sotto (PHI)
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Sotto and Sun show why they're the future of Asian basketball

FOSHAN (FIBA U16 Asian Championship) - Kai Sotto and Sun Haoqin both put up great performances in their Semi-Finals clash today at the FIBA U16 Asian Championship.

First off, Kai Sotto followed up his monster performance last night against Japan with another beastly showing today against China. The 7ft 1in (2.16m) Filipino giant scored 26 points, grabbed 21 rebounds and blocked 6 shots for the Philippines, who unfortunately finished on the wrong end of the scoreboard, 60-54. Sotto won his personal matchup with China's own star big man Jiao Boqiao, who was saddled with foul trouble and had just 1 rebound to his name. The loss means Sotto and his teammates fail to make it to tomorrow's Final, and he will have to contend with the smaller but burlier Junior Tall Blacks in the battle for third place. Sotto is currently averaging 17.6 points, 14.8 rebounds and 2.8 blocks per game.

As for Sun Haoqin, the 15-year-old Chinese phenom unloaded 22 points on the Philippines, scoring mostly through pull-up jumpers and daredevil drives to the basket. This was Sun's third game scoring 20 or more points, giving credence to his being considered a surefire future superstar for their senior national team. Sun will have his biggest test in the Final, though, as he will face the taller and longer wingmen of Australia. After today's game, Sun is carrying averages of 21.8 points, 4.3 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 2.8 steals per game.

Both Sotto and Sun are expected to advance further into the national programs of their respective countries, and if their performances today will the basis, then without a doubt, the future is bright not only for the Philippines and China, but for Asian basketball in general.