National Basketball Association hopeful Kai Sotto and his Adelaide 36ers set out against Oklahoma Thunders on Friday (PH Time), eager to dish out a worthy performance against another top-notch professional team in an NBA pre-season game.
The 7’3” Filipino center drew praises from Filipino basketball fans in his first outing against an NBA squad as he helped his team beat the Phoenix Suns, 134-124, at the Footprint Center in Arizona on Monday.
Sotto had 11 points on 3-of-6 field goals, including a pull-up trey and perfect 4-of-4 shooting from the free throw line.
Despite obviously lacking in muscle and agility, he made up for these with his sheer height as he defended well against Suns’ center DeAndre Ayton. He came off the bench and just played for 18 minutes.
“This is just the beginning,” Sotto said in a social media post as he is again out to prove that his performance against the Suns was no fluke.
Adelaide 36ers guard Mitchell McCarron played his role to the hilt with four points, 9 rebounds, 3 steals and a block and 16 assists.
And he made Sotto look so good on the court with his inside passes to the Filipino youngster who converted them into highlight reels.
Adelaide coach CJ Bruton took pride in putting together a team made of players from native Australia and other countries, including Sotto from the Philippines.
Bruton is preparing his 36ers ahead of a long season in Australia’s National Basketball League.
Sotto is not just flexing for the NBL, but is also trying to boost his stock as a restricted free agent after not getting selected in the recent NBA 2022 draft.
Unlike against the Suns, Sotto should do better against Oklahoma which has no dominating center but with more agile, power forwards like Ousmane Dieng.