Sotto Kai Sotto: Another DNP ( did-not-play) status for Orlando. Orlando Magic Facebook photo

Sotto benched anew in Orlando game vs Indiana

July 11, 2023 Robert Andaya 478 views

THE waiting game for Kai Sotto and his Filipino fans continues.

Sotto, the 7-3 behemoth from Las Piñas who is hoping to become the first homegrown Filipino to play in the NBA, was not fielded anew in the Orlando Magic’s 85-108 setback to the Indiana Pacers in the NBA 2K24 Summer League at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.

There were a lot of expectations for Filipino basketball fans that the 21-year-old Sotto will finally get the opportunity to play for the Magic against the Pacers.

Las Vegas-based Filipino supporters of Sotto even showed up at the venue to see him play and chant his name.

But like in Orlando’s 78-89 opening loss to the Detroit Pistons last Saturday, Sotto was not given any minutes by Magic coach Dylan Murphy.

Murphy stuck to his 11-man rotation throughout the game, even after the Pacers blew the game wide open as early as the second quarter.

Sotto, son of former Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) player Ervin Sotto, was actually one of 10 players who watched the game from the bench.

But there is still hope for Sotto.

The Magic have two more games left in the NBA Summer League against the New York Knicks on Wednesday (Thursday, 8 a.m., Manila time) and Portland Trailblazers on July 14.

Sophomore guard Caleb Houstan led the Magic with 18 points, five rebounds and two assists.

Jett Howard, who was selected at No. 11 by Orlando in this year’s rookie draft, added 10 points, five assists and two rebounds in 26 minutes while No. 6 pick overall Anthony Black had eight points, seven rebounds and three assists in 27 minutes.

Canadian Andrew Nembhard led four other players with 21 points, seven assists and three rebounds for Indiana, which won its second straight game.