by: Justine Juyad

PHOTO: Rappler

After a month of no action due to COVID protocols, Adelaide 36ers came back stronger as they upset second seed Perth Wildcats, 87-74, in the 2021-22 National Basketball League-Australia season at Adelaide Entertainment Centre, Tuesday.

Cameron Bairstow and Mitch McCarron led the squad as they both finished with a double-double--19 points, 12 rebounds for Bairstow and 10 points, 12 rebounds, 8 assists for McCarron--to bag their third win of the season (3-3).

The South Australia-based team bounced back from a blow-out loss against Cairns Taipans, 93-67, last December 18 before the postponement.

As much as Adelaide fans waited for their return, Filipinos were also eager to see some action from the Pinoy young prodigy after declaring that he's now healthy and ready to play, only to end up benched.

The 36ers went for a dominant start as they took a 29-13 lead after the opening quarter and closed the first half up by 21 behind their hot shooting beyond the arc. 

Adelaide averted a meltdown and went for an 8-0 start in the final quarter to push back the lead to 17, 75-58.

Cameron rescued and halted Perth's late surge as he scored back-to-back baskets to bring back the lead to double digits with under three minutes remaining to secure the win.

The Wildcats managed to fight back and outscored the 36ers by 12 in the third quarter and even trimmed the lead to single digits in the fourth but failed to pull off a strong comeback. Victor Law collected 16 points and 14 rebounds in a losing effort.

Adelaide will go up against Melbourne United (6-2) on Saturday, January 22.