National Basketball League

Kai Sotto, 36ers get back on track with win over Phoenix

Delfin Dioquino
Kai Sotto, 36ers get back on track with win over Phoenix

UNCERTAIN. It is still unknown where Kai Sotto would go after going unselected in the NBA Draft.

Adelaide 36ers Facebook page

Kai Sotto and the Adelaide 36ers exact revenge on the South East Melbourne Phoenix to notch their second win in three games

MANILA, Philippines – Kai Sotto and the Adelaide 36ers rediscovered their winning ways in the National Basketball League following a 100-92 home victory over the South East Melbourne Phoenix on Sunday, March 27.

The Filipino big man delivered 4 points, 5 rebounds, 1 block, and 1 steal in under 16 minutes of play as the 36ers exacted revenge on the Phoenix to notch their second win in three games.

South East Melbourne won their first meeting, 83-76, last March 4.

Daniel Johnson showed the way for Adelaide with a double-double of 22 points and 10 rebounds, sparking an 18-4 run that turned a slim 78-73 lead to a sizable 96-77 advantage midway through the fourth quarter.

Johnson dialed up from deep to make it 81-73 and capped the run with a layup as the 36ers built a 19-point cushion with 1:50 minutes remaining.

South East Melbourne, though, still put up a fight despite what seemed like an insurmountable deficit and got to as close as 7 points, 92-99, off a 15-2 spurt powered by 8 points from former NBA player Mitch Creek.

But with only 15 ticks left, Adelaide only needed to milk the clock as Sunday Dech split his free throws in the dying seconds for the final tally.

Dech delivered 21 points, with 9 coming in the fourth quarter, to go with 5 rebounds and 3 assists, while Mitch McCarron added 11 points and 8 rebounds.

Hyrum Harris also finished with 11 points on top of 6 rebounds, 2 blocks, and 2 steals in the win, which is the 36ers’ seventh overall in 20 games.

Adelaide remained at eighth place in the 10-man league, but closed in on the Brisbane Bullets (8-14) for the seventh spot.

Creek churned out game-highs of 27 points and 11 rebounds for the Phoenix, who dropped to 12-10 for a tie at fifth place with the Tasmania JackJumpers. –

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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.