National Basketball League

Kai Sotto rides bench in NBL opener as Adelaide absorbs 25-point beating

Delfin Dioquino
Kai Sotto rides bench in NBL opener as Adelaide absorbs 25-point beating

DEMOLISHED. Kai Sotto and the 36ers are off to a rough start in the NBL.

Adelaide 36ers Instagram page

Kai Sotto sees action for just five minutes as the Adelaide 36ers open the NBL season with a lopsided loss to the Tasmania JackJumpers

MANILA, Philippines – Even in a blowout loss, Kai Sotto still found playing time hard to come by.

The Filipino big man saw action for just five minutes as the Adelaide 36ers opened the National Basketball League season in Australia with a 97-72 home defeat to the Tasmania JackJumpers on Thursday, October 13.

Sotto sat out the entire first half and played sparingly in the last two quarters of the wire-to-wire loss, finishing with 4 points, 3 rebounds, and 1 steal.

The 36ers trailed by as many as 22 points in the first quarter no thanks to the hot shooting of JackJumpers guard Josh Magette and never recovered.

Magette went a sizzling 4-of-5 from beyond the arc in the opening frame and dropped 14 of his game-high 23 points in the period as Tasmania enjoyed a 32-10 lead.

A Robert Franks layup pulled Adelaide within 11 points with eight minutes left in the fourth quarter, 60-71, but the JackJumpers erected a 9-0 blitz to restore order.

Craig Randall topscored for the 36ers with 18 points on top of 3 rebounds and 3 assists, although he shot poorly from the field after going 2-of-10 from beyond the arc.

Frank put up 14 points, while Antonius Cleveland added 10 points in the loss.

Tasmania spread the wealth with a total of five players scoring in double figures as Rashard Kelly backstopped Magette with 19 points, 6 rebounds, and 2 steals off the bench.

Milton Doyle chimed in 16 points for the Jack Jumpers, who improved to 2-3 for sixth place in the 10-team tournament.

Sotto looks to get more minutes when the 36ers shoot for their first season win against the Illawarra Hawks on Saturday, October 15. –

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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.