Kai Sotto made his long-awaited regular season debut for the Adelaide 36ers on Saturday, playing just under 10 minutes in their 93-67 defeat to the Cairns Taipans at the Cairns Convention Center.
The Filipino teenager sat out the 36ers' first four games of the 2021-22 National Basketball League (NBL) season due to a lingering knee issue, but was finally put on the active line-up ahead of their Round 3 game against the Taipans.
Sotto was subbed in with 1:36 left in the first quarter, with Adelaide already trailing 24-19. They ended the opening frame down by 11 points, 31-20, and were further shackled by the Taipans in the next two quarters.
The 36ers trailed by as much as 40 points, 89-49, midway through the fourth quarter as they absorbed their third loss against two wins in the season.
Sotto finished with one point after making one of four free throws; the Filipino teenager didn't take a field goal during his time on the floor. He also had three rebounds, two assists, and two blocks.
Cairns' Majok Deng torched Adelaide for 23 points, with Stephen Zimmerman adding 18 points and nine rebounds.
The 36ers were led by Dusty Hannahs, who had 20 points on 8-of-11 shooting.
Adelaide returns to action for Round 4 on December 28 against the Perth Wildcats (3-1) at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre.