VTB United league 2016/2017
VTB United league, Regular season
18.03.2017, 21:00 Sa
Arena: Olimpic Sport Center (Riga)
Main time
14:13 11:11 18:17 30:21
Game number: RS/125
Spectators: 800

«Astana» goes to Riga

17.03.2017, 10:00    Просмотров: 364
Источник: Press service
Автор: Almira Shakhaeva
This Saturday, on March 18, Astana will have a game on the road in the VTB United League against the Riga «VEF».
After the victory in the Cup of Kazakhstan, the team is in excellent spirits and in good shape. After arriving in Astana, the team managed to train for a couple of days at home and again leaved for another game.
The team from Riga on the 8th line, right after « Astana» in the tournament table, with the result of 8 wins and 9 losses. Our club has already met with Latvian team this season on the home court of  »Astana», then in a fierce struggle «Astana» won with a score of 66:64. This match is very important for both teams, and especially for «Astana» so that at least to remain on the 7th place, or even move up to the 6th position.
Latvian team has a good balanced team with American and local players. The well-known players not only from the Latvian national team, but also from Europe play in “VEF”. Guard of «VEF» Janis Blums, is so familiar to our club, as in the season of 2013/2014he defended the colors of the Kazakhstan team, which not once brought victory to the team.
Head coach of «Astana» Ilias Papatheodorou told how the preparations for the match are going:
- We’ll have a difficult game, «VEF» is a very strong, close-knit team that works particularly well in defense. We need to act with maximum concentration and maximum energy if we expect victory in this match.

The game will be held on March 18 in Riga, the broadcast of the match is available live on the website of the VTB United League at 21:00 pm, as well as on the channel «KazSport» on March 19 at 17:35 pm.

VEF wins at home

19.03.2017, 13:00    Просмотров: 350
Источник: VTB United league
The Latvian VEF won the Kazakhstan «Astana» in Riga — 65:57 (14:13, 11:11, 18:17, 22:16).
The game of two neighbours in the standings, closing the Top-8, was intense, and the teams went neck to neck. VEF came started the fourth quarter with a symbolic advantage of 2 points, but at the right time, the scoring brigade of the Latvians united their power. Janis Blums first got the right to three free shots, and then Gints Antrops twice scored from behind the arc. Christopher Richard and Arnas Labutskas supported this impulse with new three-pointers. The successful shots gave the hosts double-digit advantage, but the hail of three-pointers continued: two sharp shots by Blums! «Astana» desperately struggled, but it was impossible to cope with the deadly Latvian shooters. The victory over the “Astana” allowed VEF to get advance in the table not only of Kazakhs but of «Yenisei» as well.
The top scorers:
VEF: Yanis Blims (18 + 6 rebounds), Christopher Richard (15), Martins Meiers (9 + 10 rebounds).
«Astana»: Robert Lowery (16), Roderick Odom (14), Ian Miller (8 + 5 rebounds).
VEF head coach Janis Gailitis:

– I’m grateful to my players. They struggled today. That’s why we won the rebounding game, which secured our victory. We played good defence. Something didn’t work in offence, but we shot when we needed it most. We took advantage of Astana problems, when their leaders got into foul pit. As a result, we were fresh in the 4th quarter and were able to finally win.

«Astana» head coach Ilias Papatheodorou:
– We expected a tough game. We knew how good our opponent was. The problem was that we played in the Kazakhstan Cup last week, and our foreign players didn't take part, which cooled the guys a bit. But VEF hit tough shots in crucial moments today. Their leader Janis Blums played a big role in their win. We were ready for that, but couldn’t respond properly. We have four more games and will try to get on top in it.
«Astana» will hold the next game on its court, on March 25 and 26.  The capital team will host «Barsy Atyrau« in the frames of National League of Kazakhstan.

Information about the opponent

Established year: 1958 Team colors: white, black
Country: Latvia Arena: «Arena Riga»
City: Riga Website: www.vefriga.com


VEF - is a Latvian professional men's basketball club from the city of Riga.
The club was established in 1958 under the auspices of the «GEZ» — the state electro-technical plant. The factory had its own sports club, and it included a basketball team. Alfred Krauklis became the first head coach of the team.
In the first years after another team from Riga managed the club Latvian basketball — ASK (Army Sports Club). At that time the ASK team was the best in the whole of Europe. VEF lived in their shadow, but the team was very competitive.
In 1960, the VEF won its first prize, taking third place in the Premier League of the USSR. In 1966, the club repeated its success and won bronze medals for the second time.
After the success in the early years, mediocre results had followed; VEF fell out of the Premier League of the USSR. In the 1977/1978 season, VEF returned to the Higher League, achieving the good results, namely, in 1985 it won the 5th place and in 1991 VEF had the 3rd place.
In the 1990/1991 season, VEF debuted in European basketball competitions. Next year, VEF also took part in the European Cup.
However, due to rapid changes in the region, in 1992 it was decided to stop dismiss VEF basketball team. Nevertheless due to the rich traditions of basketball in Latvia and the role of  the VEF basketball team in it, the club continued its existance. As a result of several powerful national initiatives, the legendary VEF brand was recreated on May 15, 2007.
Already in VEF’s first season after its revival, the club entered the semi-finals of the Latvian Basketball League. The same result was achieved a year later. In the first two seasons of the new era of the VEF was in the shadow of other basketball clubs in Riga. But soon the balance of power had shifted.
In the 2009/2010 season, VEF returned to major European competitions, participating in the FIBA ​​EuroChallenge as well. In the same season, the team started to play in the VTB United League for the first time.
A huge turning point in the development of the VEF came in the summer of 2010, when the core of Latvian players such as Kristaps Janicenox, Kaspars Berzins, Dairis Bertans, Sandis Walters and Gatis Jahoviks gathered again. This heavy weapon of the team helped to achieve worthy results in subsequent years.
In the 2010/2011 season,  VEF took the next step and played for the first time at ULEB Eurocup. Also, at the end of this season, the club first entered the finals of the Latvian Basketball League and won the first place.
The success continued through the next season: VEF became the champion of Latvia in 2012 and 2013. In addition to domination within the country, the club demonstrated the good results at the international level as well — the team reached the TOP-16 stage in the Eurocup in 2012 and 2013. Also, VEF for the first time entered the playoffs of the VTB United League.
  • Champion of Latvia — 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015
  • The silver prize-winner of the championship of Latvia — 2010, 2014, 2016
  • Bronze medalist of the USSR Championship — 1960, 1966, 1991
  • Bronze medalist of the Baltic League Cup — 2012
  • Semifinalist of the Latvian Championship — 2008, 2009

Overall team photo