The Presidential Basketball Club “Astana” played their first match in the new season of the VTB United League regular season. The capital's basketball players visited Kazan and met with the local “UNICS”, and as a result of the game, the victory remained with the hosts.
The game started in favor of Kazan team, who got it going very actively and pretty quickly got to the double-digit gap. In the first quarter, the hosts got to a 13-point gap, but at the end of it, “Astana” recouped a little and was 8 points behind. At the start of the second period, the players of Emil Rajkovic looked much more interesting on the court than their rivals, they managed to even the score and even come forward. But, unfortunately, “Astana” was not able to cling to its chance and by the long break was already 10 points behind.
In the third period, “UNICS” preserved its advantage, but our team again managed to tickle the nerves of the hosts and reduce the gap to 3 points. Nevertheless, the Kazan team was again able to neutralize this dangerous situation and won 9 points ten minutes before the end of the game. “Astana” in the fourth quarter took control of the situation and a couple of minutes before the final buzzer lost only 5 points. Nevertheless, the capital team failed to have the first victory in Kazan. The match ended with the score — 81:72 (21:13, 16:14, 20:21, 24:24).
Despite the defeat, the game certainly went well, and UNICS clearly had difficulty confronting our team. “Astana” practically did not concede to rivals according to statistics, the only thing our guys lost was rebounds. This directly affected the points of the second chance. “Astana” did not succeed at all in this indicator, not having scored a single point of the second chance, while “UNICS” had 11 of them. Perhaps this was the main reason for the defeat of “Astana”.
The foreign players of “Astana” were those to feel the most pressure and were at the forefront of the match. Dushan Ristic scored a double-double today — 20 points and 11 rebounds. Jeremiah Hill was also quite productive, gaining 17 points and making 6 assists. Malcolm Hill, although scored 17 points, but could not finish the match, having made five fouls. Coti Clarke was able to score 12 points against his ex-team. As for our rivals, the Kazan imports caused a lot of troubles for our team: Eric McCollum had 21 points and Jamar scored 19 points and made 9 rebounds.
The head coach of “UNICS” Dimitris Priftis:
- It seems that this season it will be very difficult to play in the VTB League, all teams are competitive. Today we went to the court motivated and showed a good game in defense. We must go on like this. I will add that we need to work on the ball movement on a court and team play.
Head coach of “Astana” Emil Rajkovic:
- Today “UNICS” was better than we. We tried to stay in the game as long as possible, we had a few moments when we demonstrated good basketball. Our team is not yet fully staffed, and we need more players because with just four foregin players in the VTB League it is very difficult to be competitive. As for the game specifically, “UNICS” won the rebound, and in the end, Jamar Smith and Eric McCollum realized a lot of shots due to their game skills.
“Astana” will hold the next match at home on October 12, the capital basketball players will host Krasnodar “Lokomotiv-Kuban” on their court as a part of VTB United League regular championship. Tickets for the match are already on sale at Ticketon.kz.
Detailed information about the tournament, standings, the schedule and match results are published in the Tournaments section.
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