Kai Sotto wins groove; Mark Magsayo focused on title defense

Check out photos of the best sporting moments that marked the last week of January

MANILA, Philippines — From Kai Sotto finally getting some well-deserved playing time in Australia to the late NBA legend Kobe Bryant being remembered two years after his death, notable sporting moments filled the last week of January.

Here are the photos of the best moments of the past week:

Kai Sotto is gaining ground in the NBL
Kai Sotto. Adelaide 36ers Instagram page

After a series of DNPs, Kai Sotto has started to showcase his products in the National Basketball League as he posts strong numbers for the Adelaide 36ers.

Over the past week, the 7-foot-3 tall man averaged 12 points and 3.7 rebounds during a three-game stretch that saw the 36ers go 1-2.

Sotto capped off the week with 12 points, 4 rebounds and 1 grapple as he helped Adelaide stun league leaders Melbourne United after a thrilling 88-83 overtime win on Sunday, January 30.

Mark Magsayo ordered to defend his title
Marc Magsayo. First Boxing Champions Twitter Page

Mark Magsayo must quickly focus on his bid to retain the title as the World Boxing Council (WBC) ordered him to defend his featherweight title just days after capturing it.

The undefeated boxer from Tagbilaran City, Bohol became the Philippines’ fifth active world title holder by snatching the WBC belt from American Gary Russell with a majority decision victory on January 23.

Magsayo has repeatedly stated that he is ready to take on anyone in the division as he seeks to become the undisputed featherweight champion.

Home bet Ashleigh Barty reigns over the Australian Open
Ashleigh Barty. Loren Elliott/Reuters

Ashleigh Barty has ended a four-decade wait for an Australian to win the Australian Open after dominating the women’s tournament with an early 6-3, 7-6(2) victory over American Danielle Collins in the final on Saturday 29 January.

The world No.1 became the first Australian to reign in the season-opening Grand Slam since Chris O’Neil won the women’s crown in 1978.

Barty won his third Grand Slam title after winning the 2019 Roland-Garros and 2021 Wimbledon championships.

The Chiefs remain in the hunt for the Super Bowl
Kansas City Chiefs Patrick Mahomes. Denny Medley/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs continued their buyout campaign after slipping away from the Buffalo Bills on Monday, Jan. 24, to reach the NFL American Football Conference championship.

Short of the coveted Vince Lombardi Trophy last season at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Chiefs are eyeing a Super Bowl return as they face the Cincinnati Bengals.

During the National Football Conference Championship, the Los Angeles Rams and San Francisco 49ers are battling it out for the other Super Bowl berth.

Fans pay tribute to Kobe Bryant two years after his death
David Swanson/Reuters

Fans around the world continue to pay tribute to late NBA legend Kobe Bryant two years after his death.

Los Angeles sculptor Dan Medina placed a temporary statue of Bryant and his daughter Gigi at the site where they died in a helicopter crash along with seven others on January 26, 2020.

Kobe would have been 43, while Gigi would have been 15.

The Blazing Suns stay hot in the NBA
Chris Paul of the Phoenix Suns. Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

The Phoenix Suns continued their strong NBA streak by picking up their ninth straight win to take their league-leading record to 39-9.

Over the past week, the Suns have beaten the Utah Jazz twice and beat the Minnesota Timberwolves to edge the Golden State Warriors by three games in the Western Conference.

Runners-up to defending NBA champion Milwaukee Bucks last year, the Suns are on course to eclipse their franchise record of 62 single-season wins, which the team achieved in the 1992-93 and 2004-2005. – Rappler.com

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