National Basketball League

Kai Sotto career game goes for naught as Adelaide falls to New Zealand

Delfin Dioquino
Kai Sotto career game goes for naught as Adelaide falls to New Zealand

HISTORY. Kai Sotto becomes the tallest player to make a three-pointer in NBL history in another Adelaide loss.

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Kai Sotto posts a career-best and team-high in points, but Adelaide trails big early and falls short of its comeback in a stunning loss to bottom-ranked New Zealand

MANILA, Philippines – Kai Sotto saw his career game in the Australia NBL go down the drain as the Adelaide 36ers absorbed a 75-84 home loss to the New Zealand Breakers on Saturday, March 12.

Sotto notched a career-best and team-high 14 points to go with 7 rebounds, but the 36ers trailed big early and fell short of their comeback in a stunning defeat to the bottom-ranked Breakers.

The Filipino big man proved to be a bright spot early as he scattered 12 first-half points to help Adelaide overcome a 16-point deficit and go into the break trailing by just 6 points, 40-46.

New Zealand enjoyed a 39-23 lead in the second period before Sotto unloaded 10 points – including a historic triple – in a quarter-ending 17-6 run to get the 36ers back into game.

Standing at 7-foot-3, Sotto became the tallest player to make a three-pointer in NBL history.

But with Sotto sitting out the first three minutes in the third period, the Breakers padded their lead back to double digits, 55-44, off an Ousmane Dieng and-one and stretched it to as big as 16 points anew.

The 36ers made a last-ditch attempt to stage a comeback, narrowing the gap to only 75-81 with 1:30 minutes left, only to miss their last 5 field goals en route to their fifth straight loss.

Dusty Hannahs and Daniel Johnson muffed two shots each in a disappointing possession before Chasson Randle drilled in the dagger from beyond the arc for New Zealand with 25 ticks remaining.

Hugo Besson churned out a game-high 17 points in an off-the-bench role for the Breakers, who snapped a four-game skid and improved to 5-13.

Peyton Siva tallied 16 points, 5 assists, and 3 steals, while Dieng had 13 points and 4 rebounds in the win.

Adelaide, which dropped to 5-12, also banked on Johnson, who chalked up 12 points and 5 rebounds, and Sunday Dech, who delivered all-around numbers of 12 points, 8 rebounds, and 6 assists.

Three-point shooting abandoned the 36ers as they shot a poor 13% (3-of-22) from long range in the loss. – Rappler.com

Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.