National Basketball League

Kai Sotto scores in twin digits, but 36ers bow to Kings in NBL

Delfin Dioquino
Kai Sotto scores in twin digits, but 36ers bow to Kings in NBL

DROP. Kai Sotto and the 36ers fall to an even 6-6 record in the NBL.


Kai Sotto gets increased minutes, although the Adelaide 36ers see their two-game winning streak snapped by defending NBL champion Sydney Kings

MANILA, Philippines – Kai Sotto and the Adelaide 36ers saw their two-game winning streak in the National Basketball League halted as they absorbed a 97-78 beating at the hands of the Sydney Kings on Sunday, December 4.

Sotto chalked up 13 points, 4 rebounds, and 1 block in 15 minutes of action for the 36ers, although most of his production came when the Kings were already ahead comfortably in the fourth quarter.

Adelaide got within 8 points late in the third frame, 60-68, before Sydney uncorked 7 unanswered points highlighted by back-to-back three-pointers from Dejan Vasiljevic and Shaun Bruce to build a commanding 75-60 lead.

The Kings cruised the rest of the way and led by as many as 21 points, 90-69, even as Sotto enjoyed his best period, scoring 6 fourth-quarter points.

Daniel Johnson delivered 21 points and 5 rebounds in the loss, which dropped the 36ers to an even 6-6 record.

Robert Franks put up 16 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 assists, while Antonius Cleveland posted 12 points and 6 rebounds for Adelaide.

The defending NBL champions, Sydney stamped its class early and mounted a 48-38 lead at halftime, never trailing for the entire game.

Derrick Walton Jr showed the way for the Kings with a double-double of 16 points and 11 assists, while Tim Soares topscored with 18 points to go with 3 steals.

Vasiljevic and Xavier fired 15 points each and combined for 12 rebounds for Sydney, which leapfrogged the New Zealand Breakers (11-4) for the top stop with a 9-3 card.

Sotto and the 36ers will return to action on Friday, December 9, as they host the Perth Wildcats in Adelaide. –

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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.