FIBA U19: Kai Sotto among best players in World Cup according to advanced metric

By Kevin Sox

Without a doubt, Gilas Pilipinas Youth’s anchor in the on-going 2019 FIBA U19 World Cup has been 7-foot-1 big man Kai Sotto.

In 3 games, Sotto has averaged 14.7 PPG, 8.3 RPG, and 5 BPG for the Philippines in 31.7 minutes per outing.

But how good exactly is the 16-year-old teenage sensation for the Philippine team?

According to ESPN draft analyst and reporter Jonathan Givony, Sotto is among the 10 best performers in the tournament, based on an advanced metric called Value Added.

Value Added estimates the player’s total points added to a team compared to a pedestrian player (replacement player). Divide that by 30 and you get Estimated Wins Added, which as the statistic’s name suggests, gives a peek of how much more wins can a player give to a team when he is part of that squad.

In spite of Gilas being winless, Sotto has a 0.5 EWA, good for 7th best among players in the tournament so far. Leading the list are a couple of Serbians, Philip Petrusev and Marko Pecarski, Joel Ayayi of France, and the United States’ Tyrese Haliburton, who is an NBA first round draft prospect.

With Sotto continuing to train overseas to fulfill his ultimate goal of reaching the NBA by 2021 or 2022, seeing him getting recognized for his efforts is always an encouraging sign.

Gilas Pilipinas Youth will continue their campaign in the Round of 16 against Serbia on Wednesday night.