NBL: Sotto has productive outing in Melbourne’s conquest of 36ers

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The league-leading Melbourne United had a hot-shooting performance from three-point land to beat the Adelaide 36ers, 97-78 in the 2021-2022 NBL Australia regular season on Saturday at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre.

The visiting side trailed early, 17-9 as Daniel Johnson and Cam Bairstow led the charge for Adelaide.

However, Melbourne started making its outside shots to take control of the match and improve to 7-2 in the NBA team standings. The 36ers, who were without Isaac Humphries, fell to 3-4.

Chris Goulding and Jo Lual-Acuil both had 18 points to lead six double-digit scorers for Melbourne, which had 40 bench points. Matthew Dellavedova dished out seven assists. The visitors shot 14-of-36 from three-point area.

Meanwhile, Filipino center Kai Sotto had a productive outing off the bench, scoring six points — all dunks — while tallying eight rebounds, a steal, and a block in over 16 minutes of play. He was also a plus-7.

His dunk late in the second quarter, his field goal of the NBL regular season, jumpstarted a 9-0 Adelaide run that cut the halftime deficit down to only 44-51.

Bairstow led the 36ers with 18 points and eight boards while Sunday Dech added 13 markers. Todd Withers and Dusty Hannahs each had 12 points.

Photo from Melbourne United Facebook page