NBL: Sotto scores 7 as Adelaide shocks Sydney


Posted at Apr 17 2022 03:48 PM

Adelaide center Kai Sotto dunks against the Sydney Kings. Photo courtesy of the NBL.
Adelaide center Kai Sotto dunks against the Sydney Kings. Photo courtesy of the NBL.

For the second straight game, the Adelaide 36ers have pulled off an upset against a playoffs-bound squad.

The 36rs got a big performance from Dusty Hannahs in a 90-82 victory against the Sydney Kings, Sunday at the Qudos Bank Arena.

The odds were stacked against Adelaide as they were facing a Sydney squad ranked second in the National Basketball League (NBL) ladder. Moreover, the Kings were riding a 13-game winning streak, and were playing at home in front of over 10,000 fans.

But the 36ers -- already out of playoff contention -- were playing inspired basketball. They had shocked the Perth Wildcats on the road, 82-70, last Thursday, and carried that momentum against Sydney.

A three-point play by Filipino center Kai Sotto gave them a 62-61 lead entering the fourth quarter, where the 36ers found their rhythm from long distance to stun the Kings. 

After a Jaylen Adams layup knotted the count at 72, Adelaide knocked down three consecutive triples -- one each from Sunday Dech, Daniel Johnson, and Hannahs. A layup by Adams trimmed the lead to seven pints, 81-74, with 2:19 to go, but the 36ers responded with a booming triple from Dech for a 10-point advantage, 84-74, with just under two minutes left.

Buckets from Adams and Xavier Cooks got Sydney to within four points, 86-82, with 36 seconds to play. But the 36ers made just enough free throws to rebuff their final rally and seize their second straight victory.

Hannahs led Adelaide with 22 points off the bench, while Johnson had 16 and Dech finished with 11. Sotto had seven points, three rebounds, a steal, and a block in over 14 minutes of action.

Adams led all scorers with 28 points and Cooks added 21, but the Kings fell to only their eighth defeat of the 2021-22 season against 18 wins. They remain behind Melbourne United (19-7) in the NBL ladder.

The 36ers (9-17) will head to the John Cairn Arena on Friday, April 22, to play the South East Melbourne Phoenix in their penultimate game of the season.