In 2018, Catriona Gray, 25, won the fourth Miss Universe crown for the Philippines. In 2019, Filipino boxing legend Manny “Pac-Man” Pacquiao, 40, defeated two much younger opponents namely Adrian “The Problem” Broner, 29, and Keith “One Time” Thurman, 30, who are both fighting out of the United States.
Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzback, 29, said that the Philippines has are very passionate about three things, beauty pageant, boxing and basketball. With the country currently dominating beauty pageants and boxing, it needs one person to raise its flag in basketball and the first person that comes to mind is Kai Sotto, 16.
Filipino-American NBA player Jordan Clarkson has been playing for the Cleveland Cavaliers since 2018. Meanwhile, Sotto is considered the best chance of the Philippines to have a homegrown talent to enter the NBA.
Aside from boxing, Pacquiao also pursued a career in basketball. In 2018, he played for for the Senate Defenders team in the UNTV Cup Season 7.
On July 20, 20219, Pacquiao and Thurman headlined “Welterweight Supremacy” at the MGM Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, United States. They competed for the unification of the World Boxing Association Welterweight Championship title.
After 12 rounds, Pacquiao was declared the winner via split decision. He improved the professional boxing record of Pacquiao to 62 wins, 7 losses and 2 draws and broke the undefeated record of Thurman, who now has 29 wins and 1 loss.
Including Pacquiao, four Filipino boxers competed at “Welterweight Supremacy.” The other three namely John Leo “The Lion” Dato, 26, Genisis “Cobra” Lagumbay Libranza, 25, and Jay-ar “Hitman” Inson, 28, competed on the undercard.
The MGM Arena was filled with loud and proud Filipinos. One of them was Gray, who was seen literally waving the Philippine flag.
Gray hails from Oas, Albay, Philippines while Pacquiao is from General Santos City, South Cotabato, Philippines.
Sotto is the son of NLEX Road Warrios assistant coach Ervin Sotto. Meanwhile, here is Cleveland Cavaliers player Colin Sotto’s thoughts on Kai’s chances to make it to the NBA: