Astana defeated Avtodor Saratov in the first game of the season, 83-78 (25-20, 18-20, 16-19, 24-14).
Astana: Ian Miller (32 points and 5 assists), Ousman Krubally (17 points and 9 rebounds), Rod Odom (11 points and 9 rebounds), Leonidas Kaselakis (10 points and 8 rebounds)
Avtodor: Nick Minnerath (23 points and 7 rebounds), Branden Frazier (13 points and 9 assists), Michael Carrera (11 points and 8 rebounds), Evgeny Kolesnikov (10 points)
After a very tight first half, Avtodor jumped out to a double-digit lead in the 3rd quarter. But the visitors couldn’t hold the lead. Astana went on a 12-0 run in the 4th to go back on top and take control of the game. Avtodor forward Michael Carrera gave his team a chance in the final minutes, but the Kazakh club managed to pull out the win.
24 – Astana connected on 24 free throws, a big factor in the game.
Avtodor head coach Nikolai Mazurs:
– Congratulations to Astana on the win. This was a tough loss for us. There were several important moments in the game, which got the best of us: we lost the rebounding battle, gave our opponent too many second-chance points, and, of course, couldn’t stop Miller.
Astana head coach Ilias Papatheodorou:
– There was a lot of stress in our first game. We wanted to play our best in front of the home crowd. Our opponent was talented and beat Astana twice last season. We trailed by 10 at one point in the game and I’m glad the team came through.