MANILA, Philippines – After a month of inactivity due to COVID protocols, the Adelaide 36ers completed a triumphant return to action in the Australia National Basketball League (NBL) with an 87-74 blowout of the second-ranked Perth Wildcats last Tuesday, January 18.
However, Filipino teenage star Kai Sotto, despite being healthy, never left the bench in that win as Sixers head coach CJ Bruton leaned heavily on the big man duo of Daniel Johnson and former NBA player Cameron Bairstow.
Given the fact that Isaac Humphries, who is also a former NBA prospect, only played less than five minutes against Perth, this likely means that playing time will not come easily as well for Sotto, who got 10 minutes in his first professional game back in December 18.
Still, Bruton’s rotation is prone to largely differ on a game-to-game basis while the Sixers try to find the right combinations prior to their game against the first-seeded Melbourne United on Saturday, January 22, 2:30 pm, Manila time.
Melbourne is led by ex-NBA guard Matthew Dellavedova and Chris Goulding, both known to Filipino fans for their involvement in the infamous “basketbrawl” between Gilas Pilipinas and the Australian national team in 2018.
Dellavedova, Goulding, and swingman Caleb Agada are spearheading a five-game winning streak for Melbourne, which now owns a 6-2 record after a 1-2 start for the season.
Adelaide, sitting at a 3-3 slate, is currently looking to break that streak as it guns for consecutive takedowns of top-seeded teams.
Whether or not Sotto will play a part in that charge on the court remains to be seen. – Rappler.com