The team of the Presidential Basketball Club “Astana” drew a line in the competition with rivals from Kostanay in the National League, having won “Tobol” on their court in the final match of the regular season.
The first match of the series, which took place recently, ended with a confident victory for our guys, who today were favorites as well. Yesterday's MVP of the game, Dusan Ristic, today watched his teammates from the stands, but physically could not help. Serbian player today was replaced by Jeremiah Hill, who joined Stephen Holt. Both Americans came out at the start, along with Alexander Zhigulin, Dmitry Gavrilov and Maxim Marchuk.
The first attack was organized by our rivals, who opened the score in the game, but already in the next attack Stephen Holt took the capital team forward, and after a couple of minutes, “Astana” was in the lead by 7 points. Our team preserved a gap for the next minutes, but then missed the Kostanay's attack, which made the numbers on the scoreboard even. The hosts were able to come forward, but the Kostanay team could not achieve a clear advantage and the score was again equal, and the entire quarter with a minimal advantage of one point remained in favor of the capital team. “Tobol” at the start of the second quarter came forward, but they could not hold on to the leading role for long: Andrei Litvinenko evens the score and Vadim Shcherbak puts “Astana” on the lead. In a few minutes, the capital team's handicap reached 14 points, and “Tobol” was able to win back only 2 points until the end of the first half — 40:52.
At the start of the second half, our guys again kept a great pace, and the advantage of the capital's team very quickly increased to 17 points. Although, the gap between the teams also began to narrow rapidly and after a couple of game minutes the teams were separated by only 10 points. “Astana” again reached + 17, but at the end of the third quarter, the gap between teams was less than ten points and the intrigue before the last 10 minutes remained intense. The hosts added fuel to the furnace of intrigue, reducing the difference between the teams by two accurate long-distance shots. “Astana” was able to slightly improve its lead, bringing it to ten points. That is the difference that lasted until the end of the match. “Tobol” tried to break the tide of the game in the last minutes, but “Astana” clung tightly to its chance and won not so easy with a score 92: 101 (26:27, 14:25, 28:25, 24:24).
- “Astana” — Stephen Holt was unstoppable today, gaining 28 points, 5 rebounds, 7 assists. Rustam Murzagaliyev has 12 points, 5 rebounds, 7 assists; 17 points and 3 steals by Vadim Shcherbak. Both Alexander Zhigulin and Maxim Marchuk scored 10 points each.
- “Tobol” - former players of the capital team Anton Ponomarev (16 points, 7 rebounds, 7 assists, and 5 steals) and Maxim Voeikov (22 points, 3 rebounds and 3 steals) became the best in the Kostanay team.
“Astana” had already secured first place in the regular season ahead of schedule and the remaining games will not affect the team’s position in any way, but they are only four victories from the next regular season. “Tobol” finished the regular season on the third line.
The next match:
the capital's basketball players are returning home to start preparing for the first home game of the second round of VTB United League, which will be held on Sunday, January 26, and the Polish “Zielona Gora” will be visiting them in Nur Sultan. Tickets for the match are already on sale at Ticketon.kz
. The next opponent of the players of Emil Rajkovic in the National League will be the Aktau “Caspiy”, the games will take place on January 28 and 29 in the capital at the Saryarka cycle track arena.
Detailed information about the tournament, standings, the schedule and match results are published in the Tournaments