If there's one thing Gilas Pilipinas player Kai Sotto won during FIBA World Cup 2023, that would be the privilege of fulfilling his dream of joining the world's biggest basketball tournament.
The 7'3" center shared his experience of representing the Philippines in the competition on Sept. 7, calling it another unlocked milestone.
"From dreams, to reality! People who never worn this Pilipinas jersey will never understand the difficulties, pressure, and sacrifices we made. But also can't compare to the fun and joy we experienced after it all ended. Thank you PILIPINAS!" Sotto began.
Sotto noted that although the team received negative feedback from the public, they still managed to rise above the ashes and treat it as a learning experience.
"Your support was truly felt and it gave us more strength during the World Cup," the athtlete said. "What an experience for me, Despite all the hate and distractions, I still got a lot of positives from all of this."
One of his wins at this year's FIBA World Cup, the basketball star said, is being able to fulfill his longtime dream of taking part in the competition. He also expressed how he is looking forward to a brighter career and a better future for Philippine basketball.
He continued, "I was just a young kid dreaming of playing in this 2023 World Cup years ago, but now I am proud to say that I've been a part of it."
"Little Kai thought this World Cup would be the peak basketball that I would play in, but now after all of it, I'm confident and excited to say there's still way more to it along the way. I hate talking about the future but this time I'm looking forward to it, Pilipinas is only gonna get better."
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Gilas Pilipinas signed off from the FIBA World Cup with China triumph, 97-75 marking its 1-4 win-loss card.
It was the first win of the country's basketball team in the game after being defeated by the Dominican Republic, 87-81 during the first game; Angola, 80-70; Italy, 90-83 and South Sudan, 87-68.