MANILA, Philippines – Kai Sotto and the visiting Adelaide 36ers stayed in the hunt for a playoff spot in the Australia NBL off a 96-82 rout of the Perth Wildcats at RAC Arena on Thursday, November 24.
Sotto stayed involved in head coach CJ Bruton’s rotation with a 14-minute run off the bench and finished with 6 points, 5 rebounds, and 1 block as Adelaide jumped two spots in the standings with an even 5-5 record for fifth place in the 10-team league, while Perth slipped to a 5-6 slate at sixth.
The 7-foot-3 Filipino saw action again after missing Adelaide’s last road game due to visa issues when the 36ers visited the New Zealand Breakers in Auckland.
Robert Franks led all scorers in the win with 21 points on 9-of-15 shooting to go with 8 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals, and 1 block, while Daniel Johnson scored 17 in just 23 minutes as the 36ers rebounded from their narrow loss to the Breakers, 89-83, last Sunday.
It was a slow-burn, wire-to-wire blowout for the visiting team as it started off with a 26-17 lead in the first quarter and never looked back despite the home squad’s best efforts.
Perth last got within single digits, 60-69, late in the third quarter, before Adelaide staged one last pullaway in the final frame to peak with a 19-point separation, 94-75, off a Franks layup with 3:22 left to play.
Former NBA player and NBL leading scorer Bryce Cotton paced the loss with 17 points on an inefficient 5-of-14 shooting, while New Zealand national team member Corey Webster scored 14 off the bench on a 5-of-13 clip.
Adelaide now heads back home and aims to get back up to a winning record on Friday, December 2, 4:30 pm (Manila time) against the visiting Cairns Taipans.
Adelaide 96 – Franks 21, Johnson 17, Cleveland 16, Drmic 14, Marshall 8, Sotto 6, McCarron 6, Dech 5, Harris 2, Galloway 1, Acuoth 0.
Perth 82 – Cotton 17, Webster 14, Manek 11, Norton 10, Thomas 8, Travers 6, Blanchfield 5, Wagstaff 5, Hayes-Brown 2, Harris 2, Majok 2, Andrew 0.
Quarters: 26-17, 54-41, 75-60, 96-82.