By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña
Filipino Asian import Kai Sotto was a force down-low and racked his second-straight 20-point outing in the Japan B. League during the Hiroshima Dragonflies’ 90-72 win over the Ibaraki Robots last March 18, 2023.
From helping Hiroshima take down co-Filipino Asian import Matthew Wright and the Kyoto Hannaryz squad, 102-95, last March 15, Sotto was once again unstoppable in the paint and recorded his first-ever double-double performance of 21 points and 12 rebounds against Ibaraki.
Sotto bucked a slow opening quarter after going scoreless and manhandled Ibaraki’s frontcourt in the next three frames.
The seven-foot-three center was making a living in the paint and shot an impressive 8/12 from the field including three blocks and a steal.
It was the same moves he was pulling off against the Robots, swishing in several sweeping hooks from the left block while also crashing the offensive boards for easy put-back dunks.
Sotto started taking over midway through the fourth quarter when Hiroshima fed him the ball at the post that flaunted the Filipino’s array of moves.
When Hiroshima suffered a scoring drought at the end of the third frame, it didn’t take long for their head coach to put Sotto back in who immediately torched Ibaraki.
Sotto’s offensive explosion then helped the Dragonflies restore order and balloon their lead back to double digits.
The win helped Hiroshima improve to 30 wins and 11 losses and is now on track for a final B. League playoff push.