MANILA, Philippines – Kai Sotto and the Adelaide 36ers failed to start a new winning streak in the Australia National Basketball League (NBL) as they dropped to the Illawarra Hawks, 87-71, on Friday, February 25.
Sotto finished with another all-around outing of 6 points on 2-of-4 shooting, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, and 1 block in just 15 minutes off the bench, but those numbers weren’t enough to help Adelaide secure a victory as they now dropped to 5-8 in the standings.
Fresh off an 11-point win against the Cairns Taipans on Sunday, February 20, the 36ers started off slow against the Hawks and trailed by double figures at halftime, 37-50.
Adelaide, however, managed to crawl back in the third period and tie the game at 57-all, thanks to an and-one play by Sotto and a three-pointer by Daniel Johnson with 3 minutes to play in the quarter.
Unfortunately for the 36ers, with the score knotted at 57-all, the Hawks once again stepped on the gas and went on a 13-2 run to put their lead back to double-digits, 70-59, with 6:29 remaining in the fourth and final frame.
Back-to-back baskets by Adelaide’s Dusty Hannahs then cut Illawara’s lead again to 7, 70-63, but Tyler Harvey quickly answered with his own personal 4-0 run to stretch the Hawks’ advantage back to 11, 74-63, which proved too big for the 36ers to overcome with just 3:51 left on the clock.
Duop Reath topscored for the Hawks with 18 points, while Justinian Jessup and Isaac White added 17 and 14 points, respectively.
Sunday Dech paced the 36ers with 18 points, while Johnson and Todd Withers contributed 13 points apiece.
Sotto and the 76ers will be back in action on Sunday, February 27, against the Sydney Kings at 10 am, Manila time.
Illawarra 87 – Reath 18, Jessup 17, White 14, Harvey 12, Cleveland 8, Froling 7, Rathan-Mayes 6, Coenraad 3, Froling 2, Dent 0.
Adelaide 71 – Dech 18, Johnson 13, Withers 13, Hannahs 9, Sotto 6, Mccarron 4, Bairstow 4, Marshall 2, Dufelmeier 0, Malou 0, King 0.
Quarters: 26-20, 50-37, 62-57, 87-71.