National Basketball League

Kai Sotto, 36ers snap Kings’ 13-game win streak to get victory run going

Delfin Dioquino

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Kai Sotto, 36ers snap Kings’ 13-game win streak to get victory run going

DOWN UNDER. The NBL has become a household name for Filipinos as 7-foot-3 big man Kai Sotto plays in Australia for the Adelaide 36ers.

Adelaide 36ers Facebook page

The Adelaide 36ers show the endgame poise they had been missing all season long as they fend off a late Sydney Kings comeback to pick up their second straight win

MANILA, Philippines – Kai Sotto and the Adelaide 36ers snapped the Sydney Kings’ 13-game winning streak in the National Basketball League following a gutsy 90-82 road upset on Sunday, April 17.

The 36ers showed the endgame poise they had been missing all season long as they fended off a late Kings rally to pick up their second straight triumph and ninth overall in 26 games.

Dusty Hannahs shone off the bench and fired a team-high 22 points, including some big buckets down the stretch that gave Adelaide enough cushion to outlast red-hot Sydney.

The Kings knotted the score at 72-72 off a Jaylen Adams layup before Hannahs conspired with Sunday Dech for a tide-turning 14-3 blast that gave the 36ers an 11-point lead with under 1:40 minutes remaining.

Hannahs, who shot 9-of-17 from the field, beat the shot clock with a contested three-pointer and capped the run with a layup as Adelaide enjoyed an 86-75 advantage.

Sydney, though, refused to go away and got within 82-86 behind a 7-0 spurt, with 5 coming from top-scoring Adams, who finished with a game-high 28 points on top of 7 rebounds and 5 assists.

But Adelaide held on as the Kings missed 3 three-point attempts and a pair of free throws in the final 30 seconds, with Hyrum Harris, Daniel Johnson, and Mitch McCarron sealing the deal by draining their foul shots.

Johnson posted 16 points and 11 rebounds, Dech netted 11 points, while Isaac Gattoma added 10 points for the 36ers.

Sotto made his presence felt with 7 points, 3 rebounds, 1 block, and 1 steal in just 14 minutes of play, registering a plus-minus of +12.

Xavier Cooks backstopped Adams with 21 points and 13 rebounds for Sydney, which dropped to 18-8, a major blow in its bid to unseat the league-leading Melbourne United (19-7) for the top spot.

Sotto and Adelaide look to stretch their winning streak to three games as they tangle with Chinese superstar Zhou Qi and the South East Melbourne Phoenix on Friday, April 22. –

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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.