MANILA, Philippines – Kai Sotto and the Adelaide 36ers rediscovered their winning ways in the National Basketball League in Australia as they dominated the cellar-dwelling Illawarra Hawks, 96-80, on Thursday, November 3 at the WIN Entertainment Centre.
Playing without their league-leading scorer Craig Randall II, who sat out due to a bruised sternum, the 36ers relied on good ball movement as five players ended up scoring in double figures, with Daniel Johnson and Robert Franks dropping 28 and 25 points, respectively.
The 7-foot-3 Filipino center Sotto, meanwhile, put up 2 points on 1-of-4 shooting, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 blocks in 15 minutes for Adelaide, which halted its two game-skid and improved to an even 3-3 slate.
Already ahead by a huge margin, 53-39, early in the third quarter, the 36ers failed to take care of their double-digit advantage as the Hawks went on a 14-2 blast to pull within just 2, 53-55, midway through the period.
Luckily for the 36ers, they managed to regain their bearings in the final frame, even pushing their lead to its largest at 20 points, 94-74, with just 2:53 to go.
Anthony Drmic added 16 points for Adelaide, while Sunday Dech and Mitch Mccarron had 11 and 10, respectively.
On the other side, Tyler Harvey topscored for Illawarra in the loss with 25 points.
Sotto and the 36ers will try to start a winning streak when they go up against the Perth Wildcats on Saturday, November 5 at 5 pm.
Adelaide 96 – Johnson 28, Franks 25, Drmic 16, Dech 11, Mccaron 10, Cleveland 3, Sotto 2, Acuoth 1, Marshall 0, Galloway 0, Harris 0.
Illawarra 80 – Harvey 25, Swaka Lo Buluk 12, Siva 11, Mathiang 10, Deng 8, Froling 6, Coenraad 4, Mudronja 2, King 2, Dent 0, Gak 0.
Quarters: 26-18, 49-37, 65-58, 96-80.