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.
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.
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).
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.