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The longest days

July 12, 2023 Ed Andaya 570 views

AndayaDON’T look now but Kai Sotto is still DNP for the Orlando Magic in the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Sotto, who is hoping to become the countrys first homegrown Filipino to play in the NBA, was not fielded at all in Orlando’s crushing 85-108 setback to the Indiana Pacers at the Thomas & Mack Arena last July 11.

This is a repeat of Orlando’s humbling 78-89 defeat at the hands of the Detroit Pistons last Saturday in a game where the 7-3 Filipino hopeful from Las Piñas was also benched.

The 21-year-old mainstay of Gilas Pilipinas is widely expected to see action for the Magic and Las Vegas-based Filipinos reportedly came in full force to show their love and support.

The same Filipino chanting Sotto’s name went home wearing long faces as Magic coach Dylan Murphy stuck to his gane plan of using an 11-man rotation throughout the game. That meant no playing minutes for Sotto and 10 other players who had to watch the one-side game from the bench.

Sotto, whose father Ervin once played in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) is not losing hope.

“It’s pretty good so far. (I’ve) been enjoying the process.It’s been fun,” said Sotto in an interview posted on the NBA Philippines’ Facebook page.

“I’m surrounded by really good guys (and) coaches. It’s been a fun experience so far. I”must trying to show the coaches that I’m a good teammate, I’m a good player. I’ll be ready whenever they call my name. I’ll be a positive guy on the corner, on the bench,” said Sotto.

“I’m just like a sponge, just trying to learn from everybody, from all the things happening to us.”

Added Sotto: “I’m really happy to see Filipinos come and watch our game and support. feel like everywhere I go, I represent the Philippines so I just have to be aware of my actions and like I said, here in the Summer League, I got to put in the work.”

In fact, the long wait for Sotto may be over in the coming days with Orlando set to play the New York Knicks on July 13 and the Portland Trailblazers on July 14.

Filipino fans are now keeping their fingers crossed that Sotto’s longest days of waiting for that one golden opportunity will be rewarded soon.

* * *

Exactly a week before turrning 59 I just spent three days on sick bed at the FEU-NRMF Hospital in Fairview, Quezon City.

An unscheduled visit to the doctor for a cat bite led to a series of laboratory tests and eventual confinement.

It was not all that bad considering the warm and caring hospital staff, led by Dr. Mark Jeremy Ramos, and the nurses and interns who attended to my immediate needs.

While the hospital is not exactly the place you want to spend the weekend away from home and loved ones, the staff surely made it feel like home sweet home even for a short time

More importantly, the times I spent at the hospital room with very little things to do also proved to be an opportunity for me to take matters a little bit slow and easy.

It’s like our body’s way of saying to take time out, slow down and rest a little even in the fast-paced environment we all live.

At 58 going 59, the body needs a lot more tender, loving care now than we can ever imagine.

It is not as sturdy and durable and efficient during our 20s and 30s, or even the 40s.

So the three longest days in the hospital turned out to be a much-needed break, which could actually be another God’s blessing in disguise

Thank God.

NOTES — Thank you for all the love and well-wishes sent my way by family and friends during my short stay at the FEU-NRMF Hospital and especially now as I celebrate 59 wonderful years under God’s loving care and guidance.

After all, staying in the game is already half the fun.

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