UNICS Russia defeated Astana Kazakhstan at home, 90-75 (23-27, 18-26, 25-14, 24-8).
UNICS: Quino Colom (18 + 6 ast), Stephane Lasme (13 + 9 reb), Jamar Smith (12)
Astana: Justin Carter (23 + 5 reb), Malcolm Grant (11), Ike Udanoh (10 + 11 reb)
UNICS overturned a 19-point deficit midway through the 2nd quarter, limiting Astana to only 22 second-half points to win easily, 90-75.
Quino Colom led the home team with 18 points and six assists as Kazan combined for 25 team dimes and only seven turnovers.
Astana was in control for much of the first half, stunning the UNICS crowd with a 23-6 run that put the visitors in front by 19, 48-29.
But UNICS answered right back with a 10-0 run and only trailed by a dozen at halftime.
The second half was all Kazan. Down 64-49 midway through the 3rd quarter, UNICS held Astana to 11 points the rest of the way, while scoring 41.
It was all teamwork for Dimitris Priftis’ men. Five players scored in double digits and four players had four or more assists as the White-Greens carved up Astana’s defense.
UNICS improves to 18-2 with the win. Astana falls to 6-15 and likely needs to win its final three games to have a shot at making the postseason.
Justin @_smooth_J protects the paint!
— VTB United League (@VTBUL) April 15, 2018
UNICS head coach Dimitris Priftis:
– Not much to say about this game. We showed two different sides today. In the first half we were awful, on defense and offense. There was no concentration. In the second half, we played how we were supposed to. We gave up 53 points in the first half and 22 in the second, fewer than half. There’s no point now wondering what happened or coming up with theories. I think everyone understands it had to do with taking the game seriously. We adjusted in the second half and won. Congratulations to the players on the second half of the game and let’s learn from the first.
Astana head coach Mikhail Karpenko:
– We played pretty well in the first half, including on offense. Scoring more than 50 points on UNICS is very good. Plus, we were pretty good on defense. Kazan only made four free throws. We were doing a good job on each assignment. Our only issue, which we emphasized in the locker room, was that UNICS was making up pay for our turnovers. We had six turnovers in the first half and UNICS scored 11 points off them.
Unfortunately, that trend continued in the second half. We committed stupid turnovers and UNICS continued to punish us each time. In the end, they scored 28 points off our miscues. It’s impossible to win a game when you commit that many turnovers and your opponent takes advantage like that. We looked pretty good in five-on-five defense. We followed the game plan and were competitive. But we allowed our opponent to score too many easy points. Congratulations to UNICS on the win. We gained a lot of experience. We still have three games to fix our situation and battle for the playoffs.
UNICS: April 22 away vs. Enisey
Astana: April 22 home vs. Kalev
Images of the Game