By Justine Juyad

PHOTO: Adelaide

Kai Sotto and the Adelaide 36ers averted a late meltdown to stun Melbourne United in overtime, 88-83, for their first win after three straight losses in the 2021-22 National Basketball League-Australia season at Adelaide Entertainment Centre, Sunday.

The Pinoy young prodigy nailed a clutch two-point jumper with less than 34 seconds left in OT to seal an upset victory against the top-seeded team who came from a hot eight-game winning streak.

The South Australia-based team learned from their previous game where they blew a 12-point lead and crumbled in the second half against Tasmania JackJumpers, 71-76, last Friday night.

The 7-foot-2 teenager recorded his third-straight game with double digits after finishing with 12 points and four rebounds while Dusty Hannahs who also took over in crunch time collected 19 points, three rebounds, and an assist both off the bench.

Cameron Bairstow and Daniel Johnson both had a double-double — 16 points, 12 rebounds, 4 assists for Bairstow, and 12 points, 12 rebounds for Johnson. Todd Withers completed the five 36ers in double figures with his 17 points and 5 rebounds.

Adelaide controlled the first half and the third quarter before losing their lead in the fourth but Hannahs heated up and hit a much-needed trey to tie the game up, 74-all with 15 seconds remaining, and successfully forced overtime.

Dusty stayed hot entering the extra period where he immediately scored 6 points to power the 36ers' 10-0 run for an 84-76 lead with 1:47 remaining.

Their lead was trimmed to three but Hannahs dished a pass to a rolling Sotto who quickly drained a perimeter jumper to bring back the lead to five and secure the win.

On the other hand, Melbourne managed to fight back in the fourth quarter after their quick 10-0 run to get a 74-70 before falling to Adelaide in overtime.

Jo Lual-Acuil topped all scorers with his 23-point and 12-rebound double-double in a losing effort.

Kai and the Adelaide 36ers improved 4-6 and will go up against Brisbane Bullets (4-6) next on Friday, February 3, 4:30 pm, PH time.

Quarter scores: 17-19, 38-30, 59-51, 74-74, 88-83.

Edited by Jostle Doen Pilayre