Kai Sotto did not have the dream debut he wanted as Adelaide suffered a 67-93 whipping by Cairns in the 2021-22 NBL-Australia season, Saturday at Cairns Convention Centre.
Sotto played nine minutes in the contest, finishing with a point as he went 1-of-4 from the foul stripe. The 7-foot-3 Filipino also had three rebounds, two assists, and two blocks.
The Ateneo High School product missed the majority of the NBL Blitz and the first four games of the season due to knee soreness.
Still, the 19-year-old had a highlight, swatting away the shot of 6-foot-10, 309-pound Nate Jawai early in the second quarter
Coming off two straight wins, the 36ers struggled to put up buckets against the Taipans, only putting up 13 and 10 points in the second and third quarters, respectively.
Adelaide entered the final frame behind 77-43.
The Cairns lead went to as high as 40 points, 89-49, with 6:05 left.
Cairns, who went up to 2-1, was led by Majok Deng, who had 23 points and seven rebounds.
Stephen Zimmerman added 18 points on 8-of-11 shooting with nine rebounds, four assists, and two steals while Keanu Pinder chipped in 15 points.
Adelaide fell to 2-3 in the standings.
Dusty Hannahs was one of the few bright spots of Adelaide in the game, finishing with 20 points on 8-of-11 shooting. Isaac Humphries tallied a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds, while Daniel Johnson got 12 points.
Adelaide will host Perth on Tuesday, December 28.