MANILA, Philippines — Kai Sotto and the Adelaide 36ers upset the top-seeded Sydney Kings, 115-108, to stay in the playoff hunt in Australia’s National Basketball League on Friday at Adelaide Entertainment Centre.
The 7-foot-3 starting center hardly made an impact offensively with four points but he grabbed seven rebounds on top of two blocks and an assist for the 36ers.
Antonius Cleveland led Adelaide anew with 23 points, seven assists, five rebounds, four steals, and a block, as Robert Franks and Ian Clark also delivered the goods to keep their postseason chances alive.
The 36ers improved to a 13-14 record, following a much-needed 99-96 win over the Cairns Taipans last Monday.
But Sotto and Co. still need to win their final assignment against Melbourne United (14-13) on Sunday at 11 a.m. (Manila time), paired with back-to-back losses from the Perth Wildcats’ (14-12) final two games to force a three-way tie in sixth place.
Franks capped Adelaide’s late 8-0 run with a dagger trey to give his team a 115-107 lead with 16 seconds remaining.
He finished with 19 points. Clark shot 8-of-12 from the field with 18 points. Anthony Drmic contributed 13 points, while Mitch Mccarron and Daniel Johnson added 12 markers each.
Sydney slid to 19-8 but remained in the top seed. Tim Soares led the visiting squad with a game-high 24 points, while Dejan Vasiljevic chipped in 18 points.