Portland Trailblazers teases Filipinos with Kai Sotto content

June 21, 2022 - 6:00 PM
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An animated picture of Sotto wearing a Portland Trailblazers’ jersey. (Portland Trailblazers/Facebook)

The Portland Trailblazers teased Filipino basketball fans by posting an animated picture of Kai Sotto wearing its team jersey, posted on Friday, June 17.

“Ano sa tingin niyo? #TrailBlazersPH” the post reads.

In April, the 19-year-old former “Batang Gilas” said he would pursue the 2022 NBA Rookie draft which will be held on June 23 despite not being a part of the 283 early candidates.

“I have declared for the 2022 NBA Draft. Please pray for and support me during my quest to fulfill my ultimate dream,” Sotto said on April 28.

“Thank you, Adelaide! Thank you, Australia. It has been an unforgettable year. I am a better man and a better professional player because you all took me under your wing and mentored me. [I could not have gotten to this] point of [my] journey without the support of my many coaches, trainers, sponsors, media, and army of bloggers. I hope to personally thank you all someday,” he added.

If drafted, Sotto will be the first homegrown player to step onto the NBA hardcourt.

The seven-foot-two Sotto spent his first professional stint in Australia’s National Basketball League for the Adelaide 36ers where he averaged 7.6 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 0.7 blocks.

Pinoy Baiting?

Netizens lamented that the Portland Trailblazers is just using Sotto for “Pinoy baiting” saying that the team is giving Filipino fans false hope for getting him to be drafted.

“Filipino baiting” or shortly “Pinoy baiting” is a strategy utilized by foreign influencers and artists to recognize or be amazed by anything Filipino, with the intention of getting the attention of Filipinos for engagements.

“Sa tingin ko gawin muna bago mag-teaser ng ganito. Chz,” a netizen commented on the post.

“Wag paasa Blazers,” another Facebook user commented.

In October 2021, the Oregon-based team started to offer “local content” to its Filipino fans by posting in the Filipino language and showing players trying to speak in Filipino.