National Basketball League

Kai Sotto sinks Sixers’ OT dagger, helps snap Melbourne’s 8-game streak

JR Isaga
Kai Sotto sinks Sixers’ OT dagger, helps snap Melbourne’s 8-game streak

WINNING WAYS. Kai Sotto and the Sixers arrest a three-game skid.

ADELAIDE 36ERS

For the third straight game, Kai Sotto scores a pro career-high, with none more important than a cold-blooded shot to seal the deal

MANILA, Philippines – In one of the early surprises of the new Australia National Basketball League (NBL) season, the struggling Adelaide 36ers stunned the top-ranked Melbourne United in a thrilling home overtime win, 88-83, on Sunday, January 30.

With the upset, the Sixers snapped a three-game skid to rise to a 4-6 record, while also halting the defending champions’ eight-game winning streak for the 8-3 slate.

For the third straight game, Filipino star prospect Kai Sotto finished with a pro career-high 12 points, with none more important than a cold-blooded mid-range shot to seal the deal, 88-83, with 35 ticks left in the extra period.

Prior to overtime, Adelaide squandered a late 6-point lead, 70-64, as Melbourne fired off a quick 10-0 run for the 74-70 lead with 55 seconds left in the fourth quarter.

However, after a Cameron Bairstow free throw, fearless guard Dusty Hannahs sank a quick corner three to knot the game up, 74-all, with 15 ticks left, and ultimately secured overtime.

Then in the extra period, the Sixers set the tone with a 10-2 run, capped by a Hannahs floater with 1:47 left for the 84-76 lead. Ever the powerhouse, the United again forced themselves back within three, 83-86, before Sotto shut down their comeback for good.

Hannahs led the win with 19 points off the bench in just as many minutes, while Todd Withers and Bairstow added 17 and 16 markers, respectively.

Jo Lual-Acuil led all scorers in the stunning loss with a 23-point, 12-rebound double-double, while team stars Matthew Dellavedova and Chris Goulding were limited to a combined 9 points on an absurdly frigid 1-of-26 clip.

Sotto and Adelaide can now start a new winning streak with a win over the struggling Brisbane Bullets on Thursday, February 3, 4:30 pm, Manila time.

The Scores

Adelaide 88 – Hannahs 19, Withers 17, Bairstow 16, Sotto 12, Johnson 12, Dech 6, Mccarron 3, Dufelmeier 3, King 0, Harris 0.

Melbourne 83 – Lual-Acuil 23, White 18, Peatling 11, Agada 8, Ili 7, Dellavedova 5, Goulding 4, Newley 4, Hukporti 3, Prewster 0, Barlow 0.

Quarters: 17-19, 38-30, 59-51, 74-74, 88-83.

– Rappler.com

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