Adelaide coach CJ Bruton has nothing but praise for young Filipino big man Kai Sotto despite playing limited minutes in the 36ers’ sweep of the National Basketball Blitz pre-season games.
The 7-foot-3 Gilas Pilipinas standout averaged only 11 minutes in the team’s three games in Darwin.
Sotto, who is on his second season in the Australian pro league, delivered clutch points in the crucial fourth quarter rally of Adelaide in a come-from-behind 84-77 win over Illawarra Hawks on Thursday night, 22 September.
“I thought Kai was really amazing, how he bounced back. He got on the rim and finished and became a target for us,” Bruton of the 20-year-old center said.
He finished with six points on 3-of-5 shooting clip, grabbed a rebound, had one steal and tallied four turnovers in a little over 10 minutes of action off the bench.
“His level of activity helped shift the needle for us to know we can play with length and size,” Bruton said.
Overall, Sotto, who went undrafted in the 2022 National Basketball Association Draft, averaged 2.7 points on 4-of-7 shooting, 2.7 rebounds and 3.3 turnovers per game.
Bruton was just glad to see the improvement on Sotto’s game as the 36ers open their season in a homestand on 13 October against Tasmania.
Adelaide defeated the Southeast Melbourne Phoenix, 84-76, on 16 September before beating the Tasmania JackJumpers, 87-79, three days after.
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