Home Editors' Picks Sotto scores Japan B. League win with 20 points, 8 rebounds
Sotto scores Japan B. League win with 20 points, 8 rebounds
KAI Sotto notched his first win in Japan behind a monstrous performance as Hiroshima clobbered Kyoto in the Japan B. League, 102-95 late Wednesday night at the Hiroshima Sun Plaza Hall.
The 7-foot-3 Filipino wunderkind posted 20 points, eight rebounds and one steal in 23 minutes as the starting center for the Dragonflies in a sweet bounce back win after a foiled welcome to Mr. Sotto’s last game.
Mr. Sotto, 20, shot efficiently from the field on nine-of-14 accuracy highlighted by a couple of thunderous dunks to lead the way in his breakthrough win in Japan after two years in Australia.
“I’m happy to be in this team. I’m happy to get my first win (at home) tonight,” said Mr. Sotto.
The Gilas Pilipinas ace had 10 markers, two boards, a steal and three blocks in Hiroshima’s 86-78 loss to the Ryukyu Golden Kings featuring another Filipino import in Carl Tamayo albeit he was benched last week.
This time around, Mr. Sotto faced another compatriot in veteran national team campaigner and ex-PBA superstar Matthew Wright, whose 26-point eruption went for naught.
Mr. Wright fired seven triples laced by eight assists, two rebounds and two steals as Kyoto Hannaryz dropped to 17th place with a paltry 16-24 record.
Mr. Sotto and Hiroshima firmed up hold of fifth spot for a steady playoff track at 29-11 with a chance to climb higher against No. 19 Ibaraki Robots (15-25) on Saturday.
Kyoto, on the other hand, is in for a tall order against top-ranked Chiba Jets (36-4).
Meanwhile, Tamayo finally suited up as Ryukyu (31-9) bested the Ray Parks-less Nagoya Diamond Dolphins (27-13) with a close 79-74 win. — John Bryan Ulanday