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Sotto might still be just 17, but many already think he has the potential to become one of the most famous Filipino athletes of all time. Standing at seven-foot-two (2.18m), he is a basketball phenomenon with American colleges lining up to try and get him on their books. He has signed an NBA G-League contract, from where he is widely tipped to make it to the top league.

While height is an obvious starting point for basketballers, and Sotto is taller than most of them, he also possesses the skill sets necessary to achieve his hoop dreams. He has surprising mobility for a man of his size, with numerous skills in his locker: his passing, dunking, screening and decision making are all first-rate. Once he has added some muscle to his frame, it is thought he will have the assets to play center against the best in the business.

"I think I can read the situations well; I can score on every place on the court and I think I’m a really good teammate,” he said. Sotto is bidding to become the first Filipino to play in the NBA and has generated huge support for his quest back home.

Filipinos love basketball. In social media terms, there are 8m followers of the NBA Facebook page – more than any other country apart from the USA. Sotto has already gained 150,000 Instagram followers.

In the meantime, Sotto has been honing his game playing for The Skills Factory in Atlanta, a sporting development organisation. “My ultimate dream is to make it to the NBA,” he said, “and I think playing here is the best plan to make it there. Every game is like a test for me, a time for me to see what I can do and what I can do more. So I just go out here, play my best, play hard and mistakes will happen but the next game I can improve on that.”

Sotto is from Manila and his father, Ervin, played professionally in the Pilipinas Commercial Basketball League. He caught the eye for many at the 2020 Basketball Without Borders Global Camp, held during the 2020 NBA All-Star weekend. His future? Those in the know think he could go to the very top – and help his national side, always competitive within Asia, become a powerhouse, too.