NBL: Kai Sotto gives Adelaide 36ers lift on defense in win
MANILA, Philippines — Kai Sotto played limited minutes anew but the Adelaide 36ers barged into the win column after trouncing the Illawarra Hawks, 90-80, in the 2022-23 Australia’s National Basketball League on Saturday at Adelaide Entertainment Centre.
The 7-foot-3 Filipino center only logged 11 minutes and missed two shots but he delivered on the defensive end, tallying seven rebounds and two blocks as Adelaide earned its first home win to improve to 1-1.
The 36ers bounced back from a tough season-opening loss to the Tasmania Jack Jumpers, 97-72, last Thursday, where Sotto only played five minutes and had four points, three boards, and a block.
Craig Randall II showed the way for Adelaide with 28 points built on six triples, to go with four rebounds and three assists.
Robert Franks added 16 points and nine rebounds, while Antonius Cleveland had 16 points, two assists, two steals, and two blocks,
Daniel Johnson also contributed with 10 points, five rebounds and eight assists for the 36ers, who unleashed 32 points in the fourth quarter.
Illawarra dropped to 1-3, leaning on Deng Deng, who had 18 points, five rebounds, and three assists in the defeat.
Adelaide eyes its second win against the Sydney Kings on Friday.