Kai Sotto to debut in Australia NBL on Dec. 3
MANILA, Philippines – Kai Sotto makes his much-awaited Australia National Basketball League (NBL) debut with Adelaide 36ers on December 3 with a road game against the league’s new team Tasmania JackJumpers at the MyState Bank Arena in Hobart.
Sotto, the first Filipino player in the prestigious NBL, then troops back home two days later and hosts fellow Asian Lui Chuanxing of China and the Brisbane Bullets on December 5 at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre.
The 7-foot-3 Pinoy sensation will play under the tutelage of new 36ers mentor CJ Bruton, who took the reins from Conner Henry last August following the squad’s 13-23 record last season.
The NBL is originally scheduled to fire off on November 18 but opted to push it back weeks later to finalize plans of accommodating fans back in game venues after a bubble set-up last season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The NBL is a fan-first product and playing in front of crowds is vital for the league and our clubs. Giving supporters an even better chance of seeing their teams compete at home was a key driver in moving things back slightly and in how we’ve structured the schedule,” said NBL commissioner Jeremy Loeliger, adding that 99-percent of their players have already received at least one vaccine dose against COVID-19.
Apart from the Adelaide-Tasmania duel, the NBL will also pit an explosive match between the Perth Wildcats and the Bullets at the RAC Arena in Perth on the opening night.