By Ivan Stewart Saldajeno
MANILA – Seven-foot-three beanpole Kai Sotto stayed on the bench all game long anew for Orlando in an 85-108 loss to Indiana in an NBA Summer League match on Tuesday (Philippine Time) at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.
Coach Dylan Murphy once again opted to play power forward DJ Wilson at the starting center position with Robert Baker as his backup.
Although both players had better outputs this time with 10 points each, the Pacers were just too much for the Magic.
Orlando somehow got things going in the third quarter, but the outcome was in a way settled already as Indiana went on a 34-17 second quarter to pull away for good.
Adding more insults to injuries, Filipino fans present at the arena expressed restlessness and chanted “We want Kai!”
Andrew Nembhard led the Pacers with 21 points, three rebounds, seven assists, and three steals, while Bennedict Mathurin added 17 points, three rebounds, six assists, and one steal.
Isaiah Jackson finished with a double-double of 13 points and 11 rebounds.
Caleb Houstan led the Magic with 18 points, five rebounds, two assists, and one steal.
In a video interview posted on the NBA Philippines page prior to the game, though, Sotto said he stays positive despite the now two straight DNP’s.
“It’s been a fun experience so far. I’m just trying to show the coaches that I’m a good teammate and player,” Sotto said. “I’ll be a positive guy on the corner and bench.”
He then expressed readiness if Murphy finally calls him up to enter the game.
“I’ll be ready whenever they call my name,” Sotto vowed. (PNA)