Tomorrow, on April 30, the capital basketball club will play a game on the road in the regular season of the VTB United League against the Latvian basketball club «VEF».
- is a Latvian professional men's basketball club from the city of Riga, founded in 1958.
Chronicle of past games:
- 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
Basketball club from Latvia has been participating in the VTB United League since 2009. «VEF» had its first break in the 2012/2013 season. Within a year «VEF» became the champion of Latvia in 2012 and 2013. Along with the champion title, the Rigans entered the TOP-16 of the best teams in the European Cup and entered 8 of the best teams of the VTB League, which allowed them to go to the playoff. Then the team was headed by the Lithuanian specialist Ramunas Butautas, the head coach of «Astana» from 2014-2016. Regarding personal games «Astana» — «VEF», the teams met on the court 13 times, 5 of which ended in favor of «Astana». In this season, «Astana» has already hosted Riga guests, the capital club won in a home game with a score of 67:53.
For the third consecutive season, the team is headed by Latvian specialist Janis Gailitis. The roster of the team has changed significantly compared to the previous one, the famous Latvian player, the captain of the Latvian National Team, Janis Blums, who is well-known to Kazakhstan, left the club. Blooms defended the colors of «Astana» in the 2013/2014 season. American guard Alex Perez has become the current leader of the team with an average of 12 points per game.
«Astana» and «VEF» have an equal number of games, wins, and losses and both teams occupy almost the same place in the standings with a result of 31.8%.
Commentary of the head coach of BC «Astana», Mikhail Karpenko:
It turns out that the upcoming game with «VEF» will be decisive for us, maybe even the main one in the VTB League this season. In this case, our rival finds itself in quite the same situation and with the same number of victories and defeats. For both teams, this game is from the category of «do or die!». «VEF» has significantly changed compared to the January match in Astana and are in good shape. Back to the game earlier in the season, the injured, most experienced center Kaspars Berzins, as well as American players Ken Brown and Paul Carter did not participate. It is these three players plus Alex Perez, Kristaps Janichenoks and Mareks Meyers who are the main striking force of «VEF». Our opponent relies on a high-speed game with a lot of attacks from the arc. Virtually every player in «VEF», with the exception of center Ilya Gromov, is able to attack from behind the arc.
We have to play in defense.
We have spent all the best matches in this season thanks to self-sacrificing in defense, responsibility and smart decisions in the attack. We come to this match without injuries, with a full understanding of the price of this game. I often tell my players: «Play with a cool head and a hot heart!». This motto will inspire us on Monday evening, and I believe that it will help us to win!
Where, when, at what time?
Arena: Latvia, Riga, «Arena.Riga»
Time: 22:30 by the time of Astana
Broadcast: VTB United League website, BC «Astana» website, «QazSport» TV channel