B1 ROUND 23 : March 8, 2023
RYUKYU GOLDEN KINGS 86 - 78 HIROSHIMA DRAGONFLIES
(Kai Sotto: KS) I believe my team played well. The effort is definitely there. We had some turnovers that we could fix. I think all in all, it was a good game for both teams. I think they just played better and they shot better. I was shocked to see how many shots, tough shots that they made. So it was a good game. I had fun my first game. The positive thing is we're only going to get better. And as I said, it's my first game with the team and their first game with me. So we're only going to get better. And this next game will be more fun to watch, I will play better.
(KS) My performance today is not the best, but I believe I can get better. As I said, it's my first game here in this league, so I'm still adjusting to how to play me and I'm still adjusting to the calld from the refs everything. But it's only going to get better. Heading into this game keep hearing that this is a really good team. They have really good players. Jack Cooley, Durham. Jack Cooley was probably one of the biggest assignments that coach assigned to me, so I took that assignment to defend him to guard. And I think we did well. And they just played better. They shot better. So they made a lot of tough shots, which was a key factor why they won the game.
(KS) Yeah, I felt like I had five blocks, but I mean three. I'll take three, but. I think I just have to maintain that presence inside of the court when I'm playing. So I think that's going to have my team and keep on continuing on doing that. And I take pride on defending the paint. And next game I'm only going to get better. This team is only going to get get better. So we're excited.
(KS) That's probably the main thing that I have to improve on this game and our next game because that's my biggest assignment, rebounding and defending the rim. So I need to get better on that. I have very few rebounds today and then watch the game again and how I can get more rebounds next games, but I know that that's going to be a key for me heading towards this next game, so that I can help my team every game. And being a starter from my first game is special because I could just see how my team, my coach, trust me. Yeah, we didn't really win the game, but I think there's a lot of positive to see in this game. So I'm really looking forward to our next game.
(KS) When the game starts, it's just different. I think it really brings more energy and I wanted to bring more energies to the team. And I think my team is really good, they're all good guys, so it's easy for me to bond with them. And because I always keep saying this team is only going to get better. So it was fun. It was a fun game. We didn't win, but it was fun. And we learned a lot from this game.
(KS) Probably Durham. He played in the Philippines years ago. I remember when I was younger, and I was watching him play with the Meralco Bolts, and I already know how good he is. I was looking forward to get to play against him. So he was good. Also, the number 14 and number 30 wasn't missing today. I was surprised. They're good. Our coaches said they were good shooters, and, yeah, they were good shooters. They didn't miss. The crowd was amazing. I think the crowd helped them a little bit, and that's why they're making shots. So they made a lot of tough shots, and then they had to win, so big credit to them.
(KS) To be honest, I'm just really excited for this next game because I really felt good from this game. Even though that wasn't my best game, that wasn't our best game. I still believe that this next game will be really key for us. My transition from NBL to here has been good. Why I played here because I wanted to keep playing, wanted to be in good shape.So I had a lot of energy from the start. I was really excited to play this game. We didn't get the result that we wanted, but I really learned a lot from this game and looking forward to our next game.
(KS) I mean, I was just checking in on him, how he was doing. First time in a professional league, first time probably away from the Philippines, living by himself. So I've been through that, and I know how it feels. I was just checking in on him. It's good to see Carl. We played against each other from high school, so it's just good to see him.
(KS) Yeah. I did watch the full game. I saw some highlights and I already know how good Carl is and I was excited to see his performance and he's only going to compete.
(KS) They told me this is probably the best arena in Japan and I believe it looks like the NBA arena a little bit smaller, but it looked like the NBA arena. The crowd was good and everything was a good feeling to play here. And I don't know if we're going to play here again, but I was really happy to get to play in this arena.
(KS) Next home game. Yeah, next game is a home game, so I'm really looking forward to that. These next practices will be important for all of us because then we will review our opponents are. The other guys know who we are playing against, but I need to focus more on the guarding. I'm excited for this next game. We have a couple of days to prepare.
(KS) Messages for my fans, first of all to thank you for supporting me and my team and keep on supporting us and we'll make you proud and we'll do our best every day.