VTB United league 2019/2020
VTB United league, Regular season
15.12.2019, 16:00 Su
Arena: USC CSKA (Moscow)
Main time
29:21 26:22 27:25 22:23
Game number: RS-62
Spectators: 2336

«Astana» to play against current VTB United League champions CSKA

13.12.2019, 18:00    Просмотров: 117
Источник: Press service

On December 15, «Astana» Presidential Basketball Club will hold an away match in the capital of Russia, Moscow, where it will play with the standing VTB United League champion, CSKA.

is a Russian professional men's basketball club from the city of Moscow, founded in 1923. This season, in addition to participating in VTB United League, they play in the Euroleague.


  • USSR Champion — 1945, 1960-1962, 1964-1966, 1969-1974, 1976-1984, 1988, 1990
  • Champion of Russia — 1992-2000, 2003-2019
  • Winner of the USSR Cup — 1972, 1973, 1982
  • Russian Cup Winner — 2005-2007, 2010
  • Winner of the European Cup — 1960/1961, 1962/1963, 1968/1969, 1970/1971
  • Champion NEBL — 1999/2000
  • Euroleague Champion — 2005/2006, 2007/2008, 2015/2016
  • VTB United League Champion — 2009/2010, 2011/2012, 2018/2019
  • Silver medalist of VTB United League — 2010/2011

Head coach:

Since 2014, the Moscow team has been headed by the Greek specialist Dimitris Itoudis, who began his career as a coach at a young age when he was 20 years old. Itudis had his first coaching experience in 1990 in Croatia (then Yugoslavia) in the Zagreb Basketball Club system. After spending five years with the Croatian team, he returned to Greece, where in the next 4 years he managed to work with such clubs as PAOK, Panionis, Filippos and MENT. In 1999, he became an assistant coach for the Panathinaikos team and spent the next 13 years in this position. During this time, Dimitris as an assistant coach became the champion of the Euroleague5 times , 11 times the champion of Greece and 7 times the winner of the Greek Cup. After “Panathinaikos” Itoudis headed the Turkish “Banvit” in the season 2013/2014, but he did not stay in Turkey. The very next season, he went to Russia and became a head coach of CSKA. With CSKA Dimitris Itoudis twice became the winner of the Euroleague and twice took the award “Euroleague Coach of the Year”. In all 5 seasons, he has spent in CSKA, he became the winner of the VTB United League and the champion of Russia, was the coach of the year three times and in 2017 he became the head coach of the World Stars team at the VTB United League All-Star Game.


The main loss of CSKA in the offseason, certainly, was the resignation of the French guard Nando De Colo. Another big loss was the departure of American center Othello Hunter and Spanish guard Sergio Rodriguez. The Americans a forward Alec Peters and a guard Cori Higgins, who also played for CSKA, also left the team in the off season. Other three imports remained at the disposal of Itoudis from last season. Center American Kyle Hines, who has been in the Moscow team since the 2013/2014 season. American forward William Clyburn, for whom this will be the third season at CSKA. For Italian guard Daniel Hackett it will be the second season with CSKA. But all 8 Russian players from last season have not changed their team and have remained loyal to CSKA. These are forward Joel Bolomboy and guards Ivan Ukhov,  Alexander Khomenko, old-timers of CSKA forwards Nikita Kurbanov and Andrey Vorontsevich: Nikita put on a CSKA jersey for the first time back in 2002, but spent several seasons in other Russian teams, and Andrey was at his disposal for “army men” since 2006. A guard Mikhail Kulagin plays for the team since 2015, and bronze medalist at the Olympics and European Championships forward Semyon Antonov has been playimg since 2016. Homegrown forward Andrei Lopatin and defender Alexander Khomenko, play in the team since 2017. One of the leaders of the team forward Joel Bolomboy, as well as a guard Ivan Ukhov, spend their second season in the team.

This season, CSKA has signed five players at once, and all of them are foreigners. The American center Costa Koufos, who previously spent his entire professional career in the NBA. At the 2008 Draft, he was selected by «Utah Jazz», in the 2010/2011 season he joined «Minnesota Timber Wolves», followed by two seasons in «Denver Nuggets» and «Sacramento Kings», and spent the last 4 seasons in «Sacramento Kings». Costa has dual citizenship and played for the Greek National Team, with whom he became the bronze medalist of the European Championship. American forward Darran Hillard spent three seasons in the NBA, playing for the “Detroit Pistons” and “San Antonio Spurs”, while simultaneously playing for the farm teams of these clubs. The last season he spent in Spain for the team “Basque Country”, also Darran is the Champion of America in the US team. American guard Mike James began his career in Croatia, and then moved to Israel. Then there he played in Italy, Greece, Spain and again Greece, then as part of «Panathinaikos», he became the champion and the winner of the Greek Cup. The next season, Mike began in the NBA: first as part of «Phoenix Suns», and after the New Year, he moved to New Orleans Pelicans. True, this season he played out again in the Greek “Panathinaikos”, with which he again became the champion of Greece. Last season he spent in the Italian team “Olympia Milan”, in which he became the winner of the Italian Super Cup. In addition to the Americans, the roster was replenished by the German center Johannes Voitmann. He began his career in German «Saints City», and then moved to «Skylanders», with whom he became the winner of the Euro Cup.

In the last three seasons, Johannes played in Spain for the “Basconia”. The Latvian guard Janis Strelnieks is the only newcomer with experience in VTB United League, but he spent his first seasons in the Latvian “Ventspils” and is the champion of Latvia, after which two seasons followed for St. Petersburg “Spartak” and participation in the VTB United League. After that, he played in the Ukrainian “Budelevnik”, the German “Broz” and the Greek “Olympiakos”.


Leaders of rivals: Mike James is the most effective and efficient player in the first part of the season in CSKA. It is also worth noting William Kleiburn with second in efficiency and effectiveness in the League, but it should be considered that he has played only 3 matches so far. Explicit base players are Joel Bolomboy, Daniel Hackett, Andrey Vorontsevich, as well as Darran Hilliard, Nikita Kurbanov and Kyle Hines. Other players frequently performing on the court are Janis Strelnieks, Johannes Voitmann, Semyon Antonov and Ivan Ukhov. In fact, Dimitris Itoudis allows all players to take an active and full part in the match, so any player can enter the court at any time.

Standings: “Astana” is currently on the 11th line of the standings with three wins and five losses, thus losing a lot to its future rivals. CSKA is now in second place and has in its reserve 7 wins and 3 losses. “CSKA” started this season with an unexpected defeat from  “Yenisey” on the road, and then followed by a home victory over  “Parma” and again a defeat, this time at home from “Zenit”. The next 5 matches were held by CSKA confidently, winning all of them — “Tsmoki-Minsk”, “Zelena Gora”, “Avtodor” and “Nizhny Novgorod”, the fight was only in the home game with “Locomotive-Kuban”. But in the ninth game of the season, which took place in Kazan, CSKA lost to UNICS. The last game was held in Perm, where they won.

History of games: “Astana” and CSKA met 18 times in their history. The first games were held in the 2013/2014 season, then the “CSKA” were twice stronger than the Kazakhstan team. In the next season, CSKA Moscow were twice stronger in the regular season and in three matches knocked out «Astana» from the 1/8 finals. Our team was not able to defeat the Muscovites in the next season, losing 2 games and subsequently, also losing 2 games to the regular season and again three matches in the 1/8 finals. The last two seasons CSKA has also celebrated victory in all four matches held.

Interesting Facts:
  • The general manager of “Astana”, Valeriy Tikhonenko played at CSKA at the beginning of his career, back in the USSR, and also ended his career at the Moscow club, with which he became the champion of Russia three times. Moreover, in the next 2 years, at the end of the player’s career, he headed the coaching staff of CSKA.
  • CSKA beat Astana twice from the 1/8 finals, in the seasons 2014/2015 and 2016/2017. CSKA is also the only team in VTB United League, which “Astana” has not yet been able to overcome.

The match will take place on Sunday, December 15 in Moscow at the arena of the Universal Sports Complex of CSKA named after A. Gomelsky, starting at 16:00 Moscow time. The live broadcast of the match will be available on our website in the Match Center section.

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

“Astana” lost in away game against CSCA in  an unprecedented shootout 

16.12.2019, 10:00    Просмотров: 171
Источник: Press service

The capital basketball players of the Presidential Basketball Club “Astana” were able to impose the fight on Moscow CSKA in the away match of VTB United League, but in the end they lost

“Astana” won the toss, but our guys failed to realize the first attack, when at the same time the hosts opened the score in the match. Our team evened the score, but then CSKA still was coming forward, and “Astana” began catching up. CSKA brought their lead to six points, but by the middle of the first quarter, the wards of Emil Rajkovic lagged by only one point. This was followed by a fairly effective exchange of shots during which CSKA had to scratch every point of their advantage. Before the start of the quarter, only 4 points divided the teams, but in the end, two successful attacks by our opponents allowed them to close the quarter with an advantage of +8. For the Kazakhstan team, the start of the second period did not go very well, in less than a minute they scored three team fouls, and CSKA extended the gap to a double digit over time. Less than two minutes after the start of the quarter, “Astana” was already losing 14 points, but our guys were definitely not going to give up. The difference between the teams for most of the quarter was in the range of 10 points, and the struggle on the court was fairly equal. One of the highlights of the match was the exact three-pointer buzzer performed by Jeremiah Hill, however, the second quarter was left to our rivals, who were leaders in the first half of the match with a score of 55:43.

Despite the fact that CSKA won the start of the match, it was hard to call them obvious favorites. Muscovites outplayed our team in some respects, but the Kazakh team gave a real fight in the first 20 minutes and it was not easy for the hosts. After a fifteen-minute break, the the struggle on the court continued, and although our rivals were in the lead, they could not pull away. In the middle of the quarter, the capital basketball players began to make a decisive breakthrough, CSKA failed, and Moscow players could not stop the onslaught of Astana.The coaching staff of the “army team” had to intervene and stop the Kazakhstan attack with a timeout, and the backlog of our team by that time was reduced to 4 points. Unfortunately, the tactical pause of Dimitris Itoudis worked and significantly slowed down the pace of our guys, thanks to which CSKA began to restore their handicap. Before the final quarter, “Astana” conceded quite a lot, to 14 points. The fourth period also took place in the form of an irreconcilable struggle, but the hosts firmly held onto the advantage, which periodically exceeded 15 points, but sometimes it became less than 10. In general, the game turned out to be quite productive, and the hosts at the end of the match managed to overcome the milestone of a hundred points and win with a score of 104: 91 (29:21, 26:22, 27:25, 22:23).

Most productive:

  • “Astana” — Dushan Ristic once again writes a double-double into his account — 22 points, 10 rebounds and 4 assists. Malcolm Hill was the most productive in both teams, gaining 28 points. Vadim Shcherbak scored 14 points in this match, by the way for Vadim this match was the most successful, because in his entire career, for 4 years in the VTB League, he had 5 points on his account.
  • CSKA — the MVP of the November of the United League Mike James, who ahad 23 points and 5 assists became the most effective in the rival team, Johannes Voitmann scored 16 points and made 4 rebounds, and Semyon Antonov brought the team 16 points.

Head coach of CSKA, Dimitris Itoudis:
- Today we played well, and I congratulate the team. My goal was to evenly distribute time on the court, since next week we will have three matches.»

Head coach of «Astana», Emil Rajkovic:
- Congratulations to CSKA on the victory. I think the match was interesting for the audience, there were a lot of cool moments, dunks, and three-pointers. Both teams perfectly attacked from a distance, realizing more than 50 percent of the three-pointers. We have done a lot, we will try to build on this the foundation of our future victories. For example, soon we are waiting for a game with the Polish «Zielona Gora». I really like how the Kazakh players Shcherbak, Pan and Murzagaliev have shown themselves today at this level. I am sure they will continue to progress.

Consequences: “Astana” in the first attempt of the season failed to get the upper hand over the army team for the first time, but in this game our guys demonstrated perhaps the best game in the full-time confrontation with the current champions. Thus, after the defeat in Moscow, “Astana” went down one more position in the standings and is currently at 11th place.

Next match: at the end of the year, the capital basketball players will have to play another away match in the VTB United League on December 23, «Astana» will meet with the Polish club «Zielona Gora».

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

Information about the opponent

Established year: 1923 Team colors: red, dark blue
Country: Russia Arena: USC CSKA
City: Moscow Website: www.cskabasket.com


CSKA - is a Russian professional men's basketball club from the city of Moscow, founded in 1923.

  • Champion of the USSR — 1945, 1960-1962, 1964-1966, 1969-1974, 1976-1984, 1988, 1990
  • Champion of Russia — 1992-2000, 2003-2019
  • USSR Cup Winner — 1972, 1973, 1982
  • Winner of the European Cup of Champions — 1960/1961, 1962/1963, 1968/1969, 1970/1971
  • Champion of Euroleague — 2005/2006, 2007/2008, 2015/2016
  • Champion of NEBL — 1999/2000
  • Champion of VTB United League — 2009/2010, 2011/2012-2018/19
  • Silver medallist of the VTB United League — 2010/2011


Overall team photo