Astana struggles, St. Perersburg triumphs
Russian «Zenit» defeated Kazakhstan »Astana», with the score of 84:73 (21:14, 24:13, 15:22).
«Zenit» began a quick game and got the lead over the guests — mainly due to the activity of Demonte Harper (10 points in the first quarter). «Astana», however, did not intend to give up and even closed the gap to 1 point (23:22), but even before the break had started, St. Petersburg team literally shot rivals with three-pointers, resulting in a spurt of 22: 5.
It only provoked Kazakh team, “Astana” got the upper hand in the third period, and Justin Carter tore the defense of the hosts. But in the final quarter Kyle Kuric and Sergey Karasev took the game into their own hands and deprived Astana of the hope for a good ending.
The most effective:
Vasily Karasev, «Zenit» head coach :
- «Zenit»: Demonte Harper (21 + 5 rebounds), Kyle Kuric (18), Sergey Karasev (17), Drew Gordon (10 + 8 rebounds)
- «Astana»: Justin Carter (27 + 9 rebounds), Ike Udano (16 + 13 rebounds), Anthony Clemmons (11).
– In our situation the most important thing is a victory by all means. Both Gordon and Valiev were playing injured, but I think we played well and controlled the game. There was a window when the team relaxed in the 3rd quarter and Astana immediately took advantage, but then we got the f the game and could return the advantage.
Kostas Flevarakis, «Astana» head coach :
– «Zenit» was very aggressive in the 1st quarter and in a good tempo. We only got in the second half when we were already trailing by a big margin. We still have some problems with teamwork, because our roster was a bit different in the Asia Cup. That is why the guys play more individual than team-centered basketball.
«Astana» will have its next game on the road against the Belarusian club «Tsmoki-Minsk» in the framework of the VTB United League.