By Akio Mananes

PHOTO: Tiebreaker Times

Filipino prodigy Kai Sotto and the Adelaide 36ers managed to halt their five-game lose streak as they cruised past Cairns Taipans with a blowout 83-57 victory in the National Basketball League (NBL), March 18.

Despite having a career-high 14 points last game, Sotto lost his footing on offense as he missed all seven field goals while still grabbing two points from the charity strife but managed to make his presence known in the defensive end, snatching eight rebounds and swatting two blocks in 17 minutes of action.

Adelaide leaned their back on the efforts of Mitch McCarron after spearheading their offensive haul with 21 points, 16 of those coming from the first half while facilitating the team with 10 assists to hoist the eight-seeded 36ers to a 6-12 record.

Grasping to a one-point lead midway the third quarter, the 36ers suddenly turned the tide in their control and went ablaze with a 9-0 scoring spree, buoying the hot cagers to a double-digit advantage near the fourth quarter at 61-51.

The hell-bent Adelaide maintained their rhythm and roasted the Cairns in the defensive side, limiting them to just four made shots while the 36ers full-throttled to a 28-point explosion to close the game, 83-57.

Meanwhile, Cameron Bairstow and Tad Dufelmeier backed up the offensive load as they chalked up their own 12 and 10 point contribution, respectively.

On the other hand, Keanu Pinder shouldered Taipans’ fighting chance as he scratched a double-double outing off 15 markers and 13 boards while Tahjere Mccall put up 14 points.

The 7-foot-3 Sotto and the 36ers squad will now eye a familiar foe against top-ranked Melbourne United, March 20 at 10 AM Manila time, with the hopes of keeping their winning momentum on pace.

Edited by Jostle Doen Pilayre