MANILA, Philippines – The Adelaide 36ers weathered a late rally by the South East Melbourne Phoenix to hack out an 84-76 win to start off the 2022 Australia National Basketball League Blitz preseason on Friday, September 16.
Filipino star prospect Kai Sotto saw 14 minutes off the bench in the win and only tallied 2 points, 5 rebounds, and a block in that span as former NBA G Leaguer Craig Randall led the way with a team-high 16 points in 26 minutes.
Do-it-all team captain Mitch McCarron scored 12 with 8 rebounds, 5 assists, and 2 steals, while former NBA guard Antonius Cleveland also tallied 12 points plus 4 boards, 3 dimes, and 3 swipes in under 19 minutes of action.
Coming off a back-and-forth first half touting just a 39-33 lead, Adelaide broke away with a huge 22-6 swing in the third quarter, capped by a Nick Marshall slam at the 3:45 mark for the 22-point lead, 61-39.
However, Melbourne got its bearings quickly with a 14-2 rally to salvage their comeback chances to the tune of a 53-63 deficit entering the fourth.
There, the Phoenix soared back within striking distance, 70-75, coming off one last 11-2 spurt from a 59-73 hole, but the Sixers’ Daniel Johnson doused that fire with a timely three for a 78-70 gap with 3:02 left in regulation – sparking a final 9-1 fightback which Melbourne failed to recover from.
Melbourne captain Kyle Adnam led all scorers with 19 points on 7-of-18 shooting, while former NBA sparkplug forward Alan Williams squeezed in 13 points and 7 rebounds in a 14-minute run.
Adelaide shoots for its second win on Monday, September 19, 3:30 pm (Manila time) against the Tasmania Jackjumpers before wrapping up with a Thursday, September 22 assignment against the Illawarra Hawks.
Adelaide 84 – Randall 16, Cleveland 12, McCarron 12, Marshall 11, Harris 8, Johnson 7, Franks 6, Dech 5, Galloway 3, Sotto 2, Ipassou 2, Acuoth 0, Thew 0.
South East Melbourne 76 – Adnam 19, Williams 13, Madut 11, Browne 10, Anticevich 6, Rissetto 5, Pineau 4, Foxwell 4, Smith-Milner 4, Te Rangi 0.
Quarters: 21-20, 33-39, 63-53, 84-76.