NBL: Sotto, Adelaide still in playoff hunt after crucial win vs. Sydney


Posted at Feb 04 2023 12:29 PM

Kai Sotto and the Adelaide 36ers are still in the running for a place in the National Basketball League's play-in tournament after a 115-108 win over the Sydney Kings on Friday at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre.

In a must-win situation against the visiting Kings, Adelaide seized control of the game in the fourth quarter en route to the crucial triumph.

Antonius Cleveland delivered 23 points on 9-of-16 shooting along with seven rebounds and four steals to help the 36ers keep their season alive.

Kai Sotto, once again getting the starting nod, had four points, seven rebounds, and two blocks in a 15-minute stint. The 36ers also got 19 points from Robert Franks.

Adelaide improved to 13-14 in the 2022-23 season of the NBL, within striking distance of the Perth Wildcats (14-13) and Melbourne United (14-13) for the last spot in the play-in tournament.

The 36ers took the lead for good with 1:46 to go off a layup by Franks, 109-108, before an Ian Clark bucket with 1:17 left pushed the lead to three points.

Adelaide held firm defensively from there, with Sydney's Shaun Bruce missing clutch buckets. A split at the line by Kyrin Galloway and Franks' three-pointer capped the 36ers' 8-0 blast to end the game.

The 36ers will still have to defeat Melbourne United on Sunday in order to remain in the playoff picture.

Only the top six teams at the end of the NBL's regular season qualify to the playoffs. The top two are automatically seeded to the semifinals, while the next four teams face off in a play-in tournament to determine the other two semifinalists.


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