MANILA, Philippines – Kai Sotto and the Adelaide 36ers stretched their winning streak to four games after edging the Brisbane Bullets, 87-84, in Australia’s National Basketball League (NBL) on Thursday at Adelaide Entertainment Centre.
The 7-foot-3 Filipino started for the fourth consecutive game and finished with five points on 2-of-4 shooting to go with four rebounds and a block in 11:48 minutes of playing time in front of a record home crowd, 9,263 fans.
Sotto scored four points in the first three minutes of the match, including a sky hook to tip things off.
Robert Franks showed the way for Adelaide with 18 points, six rebounds, and three assists to lift his team to fifth place with a 10-8 record tied with the Tasmania JackJumpers.
Franks also sealed the win with two clutch free throws, coming to the rescue for Adelaide, which squandered an 84-77 lead down the stretch as Andrew White drilled a triple and Tanner Krebs made two free throws to turn it into a one-point game, 85-84, with three seconds to play.
Tyler Johnson missed a potential game-tying three-pointer for Brisbane, which slid to a 5-13 record.
Antonius Cleveland was also instrumental with 13 points, nine rebounds, five assists, and four steals, while Anthony Drmic posted a double-double of 11 markers and 11 boards.
Nathan Sobey powered the Bullets with 24 points. Krebs had 13 points, White and Johnson scored 12 each, as Aaron Baynes delivered 10 points and 12 rebounds.
Sotto and the 36ers seek to end the year with a bang, gunning their fifth straight victory against the Cairns Taipans (10-7) on Saturday.
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