Today, Astana fought for a higher place in the VTB United League rankings with its principal rival the Latvian club «VEF».
For our team, the beginning of the season has been very successful. Our team has never started it so triumphantly. While «VEF» is less lucky this season; just one win out of seven games.
The last home games of «Astana» left much room for the improvement. The last game with «Nizhny Novgorod» ended with the disappointment of the fans; only six points were not enough to celebrate the victory with their favorite team. If we are talking about away games of “Astana”, then the picture becomes more optimistic — two victories over Minsk “Tsmoki” and Polish “Zielona Góra”. The players of “Astana” had a difficult task — to break the draw between wins and defeats, and naturally, in favor of the first category. After taking the instructions and the latest pre-match recommendations from the head coach Emil Rajkovic, our team entered the «Olympic Sports Center» in Riga.
So, the first lucky five of “Astana” stepped on the guest's court. The first period of the game started intensely. The score was started by the hosts, but then the scoreboard showed an equal amount of points for both teams. “Astana”, as if gaining strength after a short rest, almost immediately attacked, moreover, confidently and self-possessed. Our basketball players scored three-pointers with a particular accuracy, charging the fans of the club with crazy energy even on the other side of the screen. 54:37 — Kazakhstan basketball fans were rejoicing after the end of the first period and held their fingers crossed for the next minutes of the game.
«Black and white» began the second period with a serious attack. Already in the first minutes, the hosts began to attack, and the score crept up in their favor. However, “Astana” did not plan to concede its victory to the rival's ring. The third quarter was harsh for both teams. «VEF» players with particular persistence began to defend their ring, the fans, in turn, began to help with an invigorating chant to their home team. The gap became so close between the teams — only two-three points. Unbearably hot! With the start of the final quarter of the game, Astana rushed into the attack. Under the creak of running shoes, the numbers on the scoreboard crept up in favor of Kazakhstan basketball players. Five minutes before the end of the match and it seemed that the opponents of «Astana» were unnerved. Even the “precious” penalties did not hit the basket at the crucial moment. Our players led the game until the buzzer, after which they have already celebrated a victory with a final score of 71:93.
The top scorers:
The hero of the match - is Alexander Zhigulin. Zhigulin, who has never been considered a formidable shooter, realized today 5 of 7 long shots, including 3 three-pointers. He gained 23 points during the game.
The team will hold the next matches at home, on November 21 and 22, Astana players will receive guests from the southern capital — the «Almaty Legion» team as part of the regular championship of the Kazakhstan Championship among men's teams of the National League.
«Astana» will hold the next game of the VTB United League on the road. On December 9, the capital basketball players will go to Krasnodar, where they will meet with the local basketball club «Lokomotiv Kuban».
Detailed information about tournaments, tournament tables, the schedule and results of games are published in the section Tournaments.