National Basketball League

Sotto, Adelaide suffer blow to NBL playoff hopes as Brisbane pulls off OT upset

JR Isaga
Sotto, Adelaide suffer blow to NBL playoff hopes as Brisbane pulls off OT upset

SLUMP. Kai Sotto sees his double-digit performance go down the drain in another 36ers loss.

ADELAIDE 36ERS

Former NBA guard Tyler Johnson shows off his clutch gene as the Brisbane Bullets take down Kai Sotto and the Adelaide 36ers in an NBL overtime thriller

MANILA, Philippines – With four games left in the Australia NBL regular season, the also-ran Brisbane Bullets pulled off a 106-101 overtime home court stunner to frustrate the playoff-seeking Adelaide 36ers on Thursday, January 19.

Filipino star center Kai Sotto provided an early spark with 9 points on 4-of-7 shooting, 7 rebounds, and 2 blocks in under 16 minutes as a starter, but was again reduced to a spectator in the clutch as Antonius Cleveland sank the overtime-forcing free throws to knot up Adelaide with Brisbane, 91-all.

Although Cleveland got the ball rolling in the extra period with an early go-ahead layup for the 93-91 lead, the Bullets zoomed past with a crucial 8-1 run, capped by an Andrew White floater with 1:51 left, 99-94.

Adelaide got as close as 99-98 off a Cleveland and-one conversion with 1:21 remaining, but Cleveland’s heroics were immediately erased after he committed back-to-back turnovers that translated to a game-sealing 5-0 spurt by the home team, 104-98, with 32.7 ticks left.

The Sixers momentarily gave the Bullets a scare after former NBA guard Tyler Johnson bricked two free throws that Anthony Drmic turned to a quick pull-up three opportunity, 101-104, with 13.5 seconds left.

However, Johnson made up for his earlier blunder with a pair of charities off the duty foul at the 12.9-second mark to set the final score and seal the upset win.

Johnson led the way with 27 points off the bench on 9-of-18 shooting with 6 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 steals, while Jason Cadee paced the starters with 22 points in just under 26 minutes.

Former NBA big man Aron Baynes added 16 points and 9 boards for Brisbane, while Drmic topscored for the losing Adelaide side with 20 points on a 5-of-10 clip from deep.

The Bullets rose to a 7-17 record, still in ninth place in the 10-team league, while the Sixers slid down to 11-13 at the eighth spot as they continue chasing a top six finish for play-in qualification.

The Scores

Brisbane 106 – Johnson 27, Cadee 22, Mitchell 17, Baynes 16, White 9, Sobey 9, Gak 2, Froling 2, Harrison 2, Stattman 0, Bach 0.

Adelaide 101 – Drmic 20, Cleveland 18, Franks 17, Johnson 13, Harris 10, Sotto 9, Clark 8, Dech 6, Acuoth 0, Galloway 0.

Quarters: 27-20, 47-38, 73-70, 91-91 (reg.), 106-101 (OT).

– Rappler.com

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