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Cairns spoils Kai Sotto's NBL regular season debut, trips Adelaide

Kai Sotto was held to a single point in his first NBL regular-season action. FIBA (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

PASAY--Kai Sotto has finally made his NBL regular-season debut, but it did not stop Adelaide from suffering a 67-93 beating at Cairns on Saturday night.

The seven-foot-three Filipino wunderkind was sluggish in limited minutes as the Taipans asserted their dominance over the 36ers at their own turf, the Cairns Convention Centre.

Sotto formalized his stint as the first Filipino to see action in the Australian top tier after checking in at the 1:37 mark of the first quarter.

But Cairns began pulling away at that point and closed the first quarter up by 11, 31-20.

Sotto made his presence felt right at the start of the second quarter after blocking Nathan Jawai's hook shot attempt.

That turned out to be the main highlight of what was otherwise a so-so night for Sotto, only tallying one point, three rebounds, two assists, and two blocks in 10 minutes of play.

The Taipans would continue to break away from the 36ers, stretching their lead to as high as 40 points.

Majok Deng led the Cairns with 23 points on 9-for-13 field goals, seven rebounds, one assist, one steal, and one block.

Stephen Zimmerman added 18 markers, nine boards, four dimes, one swat, and two swipes.

Dusty Hannahs came up with 20 points on 8-of-11 shooting, two caroms, two assists, and one block for Adelaide.

Isaac Humphries and Daniel Johnson each added 12 points with the former adding 10 rebounds for the double-double alongside two blocks.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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