On February 7th, HIROSHIMA DRAGONFLIES has announced signing of Filipino player Kai Sotto for the rest of 2022-23 season. 20 year old, Kai Sotto will wear #11 with the DRAGONFLIES. Kai has been a part of the Philippine National Team and signed with the Adelaide 36ers in the Australian National Basketball League (NBL) on April of 2021. He has played the last two seasons for the 36ers and played the final regular season game on Sunday, February 5th. In the NBL, Kai has received the NBL fans MVP award last season.
HIROSHIMA DRAGONFLIES General Manager, Shuji Okazaki mentioned in the press release that they have offered a contract early 2022, but the timing did not work out as Kai's ultimate goal was to challenge the NBA and he opted to play in Australia to gain experience. As the DRAGONFLIES continue to build their team, they took another shot at acquiring Kai Sotto. The organization continued negotiations and communications mentioning the importance of playing in an international city of peace and culture in Hiroshima and the support they will provide for him to accomplish his challenge of playing in the NBA. Both parties have exchanged numerous details and the timing was right this time for agreement in terms of contract.
General Manager Shuji Okazaki, "I made this announcement in order to once again express my intention to aim for the B league championship in the shortest possible time and grow into a top club. In a few years, Japan's B.League will change into an even bigger "New B1 League". Entering the "New B1 League" will be a big obstacle for us, but we would like to run up to the "top" together with everyone. We appreciate your continued support and encouragement."
Kai Sotto also comments on the contract, "I am looking forward to playing for the HIROSHIMA DRAGONFLIES. I want to do everything I can so that the DRAGONFLIES, who are aiming to advance to the B.League Championship, have a great season. I am grateful to the president and GM for giving me this opportunity. I look forward to meeting my teammates, staff and of course the fans."