The home stands did not help the rivals of the Presidential Basketball Club “Astana”; the local “Tobol” was defeated in Kostanay following the results of the first game of the National League series.
The capital team did not leave much chance to the Kostanay team in the series of games that took place in December in Nur-Sultan. In today's match, “Astana” was a favorite, and in addition to Kazakhstan players, Dusan Ristic and Stephen Holt came out on the court in this match, for whom this is the debut in the National League this season. As for the starting five, both Stephen and Dushan immediately entered the game, in addition to them, Alexander Zhigulin, Vadim Shcherbak, and Maxim Marchuk came out at the start as well.
In the first attack of the match, Vadim Shcherbak scored from behind the arc, opening a score of the match. “Astana” started very well and after two minutes of the game was in the lead by five points. But the hosts were clearly determined to stop our guys from taking the lead and equalized the score to the middle of the first quarter. In the remaining five minutes, “Astana” tipped the scale in their favor and acted perfectly in defense, as a result of which “Tobol” could not score points for more than 4 minutes. Our team quite successfully acted in attack and won 6 points after 10 game minutes. In the second quarter, our rivals were close to bringing the balance into the game again, but they could not catch up with “Astana”. In the first five minutes, Astana's remained in the range of 6 points. But closer to the big break, Emil Rajkovic’s wards completely seized control and began to increase their margin, which reached 15 points at the end of the first half of the game — 29:44.
The excellent pace gained by our team at the end of the second period continued at the start of the third quarter, and thanks to the points scored by Scherbak, Ristic, and Holt at the beginning of the period, the advantage of “Astana” exceeded 20 points. “Tobol” was able to stop the breakthrough of our team and slightly reduced the gap by the middle of the quarter. The second half of the quarter was not the most productive for both teams. But the advantage of “Astana” again exceeded 20 points, and they came to the final quarter with a very comfortable margin. In the fourth quarter, the pace of the game did not increase, and the difference remained virtually unchanged for five minutes. In the last five minutes of the match, our team raised the pace and rushed forward. The hosts could not maintain this pace and the difference began to increase very rapidly. As a result, our team significantly widened the gap and won a major victory with a score of 52:90 (13:19, 16:25, 12:20, 11:26).
“Astana” has removed all questions about the winner of the regular season, even the most meager ones and with any outcome of the remaining games will not give way to competitors. “Tobol” also finally decided on their place in the regular season, becoming the third in the standings, even despite the fact that they have one more game ahead.
- “Astana” — the most effective among both teams was Dusan Ristic, who has another double-double on his account — 16 points + 11 rebounds. Stephen Holt made his excellent debut with 10 points, 3 rebounds, 4 assists, and 4 steals. Rustam Murzagaliev scored 9 points today, made 4 rebounds, 8 assists and 3 interceptions.
- “Tobol” — Anton Bykov was close to a double-double — 16 points + 9 rebounds, while Anton Ponomarev had 12 points + 9 rebounds.
tomorrow, January 18, the final game between «Astana» and «Tobol» will be held as part of the National League regular season. The match starts at 16:00 Nur-Sultan time.
Detailed information about the tournament, standings, the schedule and match results are published in the Tournaments