Limited to just five minutes in a loss to Tasmania, Filipino big man Kai Sotto gets more playing time as Adelaide takes down Illawarra
MANILA, Philippines – Kai Sotto earned more playing time and helped the Adelaide 36ers notch a 90-80 home win over the Illawarra Hawks in the National Basketball League in Australia on Saturday, October 15.
Limited to just five minutes in their season-opening loss to the Tasmania JackJumpers, the 7-foot-3 big man played for 11 minutes and delivered 7 rebounds and 2 blocks as the 36ers cracked the winning column.
Sotto went scoreless but anchored the Adelaide defense early by tallying both of his blocks in the opening period, which ended with the 36ers enjoying a 25-17 lead.
Although the Illawarra stormed back and even seized a 68-50 lead through three quarters, Adelaide outscored its foes 32-20 in the final frame behind the hot hand of Craig Randall.
Randall erupted for 17 of his game-high 28 points in the fourth period as they led by as many as 14 points en route to handing the Hawks their third loss in four games.
The engineer of the 36ers’ upset win over NBA team Phoenix Suns during the preseason, Randall torched Illawarra by knocking down 4 of his 6 three-pointers in the final salvo.
Robert Franks chalked up 16 points, 9 rebounds, and 2 steals in the win, while Antonius Cleveland posted 16 points, 2 steals, and 2 blocks.
Daniel Johnson put up 10 points and 8 rebounds as the starting center for Adelaide.
The Hawks were led by Deng Deng, who finished with 18 points, 5 rebounds, and 2 steals, and Tyler Harvey, who had 16 points and 5 steals.
Sotto and Adelaide will play on the road next when they face defending champions Sydney Kings on Friday, October 21. – Rappler.com