VTB United league 2019/2020
VTB United league, Regular season
08.03.2020, 15:00 Su
Arena: Zhekpe-zhek Saray (Nur-Sultan)
Main time
21:22 18:15 16:22 23:24
Game number: RS-117
Spectators: 1065

«Astana» is ready to take revenge in the home match against Estonian «Kalev»

04.03.2020, 20:00    Просмотров: 208
Источник: Press service
On Sunday, March 8, the first spring home match of the Astana Presidential Basketball Club will take place this season of VTB United League. The capital's basketball players will meet on their floor with the Estonian Kalev.

«Kalev» - is an Estonian professional men's basketball club from the city of Tallinn, founded in 1944.

  • Champion of the USSR — 1991
  • Champion of Estonia — 2000, 2005, 2006, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016-2019
  • Silver medalist of the Estonian Championship 2015
  • Estonian Cup Winner — 2005-2008, 2016-2017

In the first round of the “regular season” at the end of November, the Kazakh team visited Tallinn, and our rivals turned out to be stronger on our court, beating “Astana” with a slight advantage — 84:76. The Estonian team has since spent 10 matches within the VTB United League. Immediately after the game with “Astana” they played at home twice more, in the confrontation with the “Tsmoki-Minsk” team, the Estonians lost the victory but were able to please their stands in the game with “Enisei”. By the end of the year, the Tallinn team had two more games, losing both of them heavily, first in the match with «Khimki» and then at home with CSKA. All matches in January for «Kalev» were held at home, they had a major defeat from the Polish «Stelmet Zielona Gora» and victory in the match against «Avtodor». February against the team spent exclusively on the road. In St. Petersburg, “Kalev” sensationally snatched the victory from “Zenit», and then followed by defeat from the “Yenisei” and CSKA. The last game was held last week in Kazan, where the Estonians lost to UNICS. In addition, “Kalev” constantly plays in the Estonian-Latvian League.

Standings: “Kalev” has 7 victories in its reserve, as well as “Astana”, but our opponent spent one match more, and they have one more loss. Thus, “Kalev” is inferior to our team in the standings 4 lines — Estonians on the 11th, and “Astana” on the 7th. In case of victory, “Astana” will strengthen in the playoff zone, and depending on how the parallel games go, «Astana» may rise even higher in the standings. In case of defeat, «Astana» may again be out of the playoff zone. Despite the fact that the wards of Emil Rajkovic lost in Estonia, the chances of our team in the upcoming game are quite high, because the factor of the home court this season most often acts in favor of our players.

Changes in the roster: On December 19, 2019,  the American forward Calvin Godfrey had left Kalev, who played in the match against Astana. In December, the roster of “Kalev”  was immediately replenished by two American basketball players. Forward Michael Finke last season still played for his university, and this season began in the Polish “Legia”. Forward Sasha Killea-Jones in February last season decided to stop playing at the NCAA and moved to the Czech League 2, where he became the champion with «Sparta» Prague team. In the summer, the forward moved to the German «Braunschweig», but did not have a single official game in the Bundesliga.

Leaders of the rivals: the leaders of the team at the moment are American guard Kyle Vinales and Estonian forward Janari Joesaar. It is these players who brought victory to their team in the last full-time game with “Astana”. It is also worth noting that in the previous match in Kazan Kyle was also the leader in the team, but Yanari was not in the application. In addition to them, the basis of the team are the Latvian guard Aigars Skele and the Estonian forward Krisjan Kitsing, but in Kazan, a week ago Kristjan was also not in the application, and Aigers, although it was announced, did not appear on the court. Another Estonian — forward Kristjan Kangur is constantly coming out in the starting five. It is also worth noting the newcomers Sasha Killea-Jones and Michael Finke, as well as the Estonians Sander Rayeste, Stan Sokk, Tanel Kurbas and Martin Dorbek, who spend more than 10 minutes on the court.

The match will take place on Sunday — March 8 in Nur-Sultan in the arena of «Zhekpe-Zhek» Sports Complex, beginning at 15:00 Nur-Sultan time. Online broadcast of the match will be available on our website in the Match Center section. Tickets for the match are on sale at Ticketon.kz. We remind you that the sale of tickets for the next home match of «Astana» against the Saratov «Avtodor», which will take place on March 15, also at the venue of «Zhekpe-Zhek» Sports Complex, has already been started.

Detailed information about the tournament, standings, the schedule and match results are published in the Tournaments section.

In the gripping ending of the home match, «Astana» lost to «Kalev»

09.03.2020, 10:00    Просмотров: 193
Источник: Press service
The home match of «Astana» Presidential Basketball Club against the Estonian «Kalev» in the VTB United League was not without a pulse-pounding ending, the winners though at the end of the day were the guests.

“Kalev” had arrived in Nur-Sultan with all the guns blazing. Almost all the leaders of the Estonians were announced for this match, and plus the Kalev rookie, American guard Tekele Cotton, made his debut in this game. The only leader who did not arrive in the capital is the Latvian guard Aigars Skele. For both teams, this match is very important, and the competition was expected to be very intense. James Florence, Dusan Christian, Alexander Zhigulin, Maxim Marchuk and Malcolm Hill started this match in the starting five.

Dusan Ristic won the toss and in the first attack, he himself opened the score in the match. In general, the start of our team guys turned out to be quite good, they realized 4 out of 5 attacks — Alexander Zhigulin and Malcolm Hill realized three-pointers, and Dushan Ristic was distinguished by a spectacular dunk. The margin of “Astana” was 5 points, but then for our team came a goalless pause, which lasted almost five minutes. During this time, our guests were able not only to recoup but also to pull away by 5 points. Malcolm Hill brought his team two points realizing free throws, but the Estonians were able to increase the lead to seven points. At the end of the period, Stephen Holt alone reduced the gap to two points, and Jeffrey Crockett compared the score with a powerful dunk. Nevertheless, the first period finished in favor of our guests, though with a minimum advantage of one point. Holt at the start of the second period brought “Astana” forward, but this only provoked «Kalev» and aggravated the struggle on the court, which was already quite hot. Both teams were exchanging the role of leader, and the difference between the teams did not exceed 2-3 points. In such a fight, the whole second quarter had passed, which did not reveal a clear favorite in the game. Despite the fact that the period remained with the Kazakhstan team, our team did not have a comfortable advantage on the scoreboard after the first half of the match — 39:37.

Stephen Holt Basketball club Astana

 In the third quarter, the tough fight continued. Neither team managed to properly cling to the advantage. Teams fought for every point, and the lead role had been turning over from one team to another. As a result, to the equator of the third quarter, the score was still equal, and this trend continued to persist halfway until its end. At the end of the game, “Astana” missed a couple of attacks of the opponent, leaving them irresponsible. As a result, “Kalev” was in the lead by 4 points before the final ten-minute period. Perhaps the game was not so productive — none of the teams crossed the threshold of 60 points following the results of three periods, but the match went in a very dynamic and tough fight, and in the fourth quarter the competition still did not lose its intensity. After two and a half minutes of the fourth period, Stephen Holt once again equalized the score, but the players of Emil Rajkovic could not come forward, and they continued to play the role of catching up. Five minutes before the final buzzer, «Kalev» was in the lead by 4 points, after which the Estonians developed their success and in a couple of minutes they won 8 points. Naturally, this did not suit our coaching staff, who immediately resulted in a tactical pause, which brought positive results for our team. An excellent defensive game and the competent actions of Malcolm Hill in the attack, as well as the accurate three-pointer from James Florence, reduced the backlog of our team to a minimum.

Dushan Ristic Basketball Club Astana

The last game minute was stretched and a lot of interesting events took place along its leisurely course. It all started with another three-pointer performed by James Florence, who could bring our team forward, but missed the goal. The guests did not do particularly well either from behind the arc, but unlike our team, they were able to rebound and earned the right to two free throws, which they successfully implemented. The gap of “Kalev” again reached had three points, and before the end of the match was a little over 16 seconds. Of course, Emil Rajkovic took a timeout in order to organize the attack correctly, but at the same time players of Roberts Stelmacher, the Kalev head coach received the necessary instructions as well. Estonians competently controlled the situation and committed a foul in the game on James Florence, which gave a chance for two free throws with a deficit of three points 13 seconds before the end. James realized both free throws and the gap was again reduced to a minimum. After that, our team, of course, began to actively press to steal the ball. The pressure turned out to be so active that Dusan Ristic got a technical foul while trying to prevent the opponent's player from advance the ball from out of bounds. Naturally, our rivals took full advantage of the opportunity that appeared, and their margin increased to 4 points. After that, the “Astana” coaching staff requested another timeout, however, all three pauses in the second half of the match have already been used, for which the team received another technical foul. The Estonian “Kalev” correctly took advantage at the end of the match and pulled out a victory with a score of — 78:83 (21:22, 18:15, 16:22, 23:24).

Most productive:
  • “Astana” — Dushan Ristic again scored a double-double 17 points and 13 rebounds, and Stephen Holt became the most productive in our team — 19 points and 3 rebounds. 17 points, 6 assists and 3 rebounds were recorded by Malcolm Hill, and Geoffrey Crockett, in addition to a spectacular dunk, brought the team 11 points and had 8 rebounds.
  • “Kalev” — our team could not stop the rival leaders today: Kyle Vinales scored 26 points, and in addition to 9 assists and 5 rebounds, Yanari Joesaar scored a double-double — 23 points, 11 rebounds.

Consequences: this unfortunate defeat pushed “Astana” out of the playoff zone, and our team led the top three teams in terms of additional indicators, which included 7 victories and 11 defeats, taking 9th place. “Kalev” on the contrary, while he joined the top eight teams, taking the eighth line.

Next match: exactly in a week — on March 15, the capital team will meet on their court with the next rival in the VTB United League, this time the Saratov «Avtodor» will arrive in Nur Sultan. The match will take place in the arena of the sports complex «Zhekpe-zhek.» Tickets are on sale at Ticketon.kz.

Detailed information about the tournament, standings, the schedule and match results are published in the Tournaments section.

Information about the opponent

Established year: 1920 Team colors: white, blue
Country: Estonia Arena: Kalev Sports Hall
City: Tallinn Website: www.bckalev.ee


«Kalev» is an Estonian professional men's basketball team from the city of Tallinn, founded in 1920.
  • Champion of the USSR — 1991
  • Estonian Champion — 2000, 2005, 2006, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016-2019
  • Silver medalist of the Estonian Championship — 2015
  • The winner of the Estonian Cup — 2005-2008, 2016, 2017

Overall team photo