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Vitaly Strebkov spoke about the success of the capital team

Last season turned out very intense for the newly formed BC "Astana". During it capital Basketball Club managed to gather a collection of national tournaments’ trophies, and to prove themselves worthy in VTB United League in the same company with such leaders of European basketball club as CSKA, "Zalgiris", BC "Khimki".
Quite a serious contribution to the overall success made a coach Vitaly Strebkov. It just seems that everything in the basketball team depends on its main tutor. In fact, in a professional team who have set a great task, it is very important work done by each part of a whole. The more – by the coach with the many years experience of making "Astana Tigers" the best club of the country and who headed the national team of Kazakhstan.
- Vitaly, what was the ending basketball year for BC "Astana"?
- I think in general the season for our club can be considered successful. We won victories in the national tournaments. This is a normal result, we didn’t expect anything else. We all had to win in Kazakhstan. Not bad for a debut season we performed in VTB United League. Just one victory wasn’t enough to the playoffs of this tournament. The remarkable matches were with the "Khimki", "Zalgiris", "Nizhniy Novgorod" in the external game. But there were a couple of games where we were supposed to win, but did not - as, for example, with Samara in Astana. In general, we have shown good results. Most importantly - Kazakhstan players of our team plunged into the tournament of completely different level than those in which they played before. Sure, they are all in this season progressed in skill.
— And why you didn't win «Red Wings» home game? Because of experience shortage of game at such level?
— There is a complex of the reasons that prevented. The same shortage of experience about which you speak, pressure, responsibility for result — after all "Astana" at that moment had very good chances for playoffs.
- Initially, in the tasks for the season there was no output in the playoffs? Were aims corrected during the tournament?
- I can’t say that the task of the output in the playoffs didn’t exist at all at the beginning of the season. Everybody wants to win, not to step back we go out to the pitch. But, objectively, before the new season we thought at least to win 1-2 matches. However, during the championship we watched and saw that we can win against all opponents. Appetite comes during eating. Then set for ourselves more serious targets.
-  Did Matteo Bonichiolli surprise you with the way of his work?
- In basketball, at present it is impossible to come up with something radically new. The thing is some small nuance: one coach does something in this way, another one – in a different way. The most important thing - the coach has to manage a team. If it turns out – this means that he is a good specialist. Matteo has obtained. But something revolutionary in basketball is impossible to imagine.
- Are you responsible more for Kazakhstan players as you carrying out collecting with them now?
- I am not carrying out the collecting itself. At this stage, the basketball players more do general physical work. A team coach on GPP Urritio
Alejandro who will doit flew to us.
- As a former tutor of Kazakhstan team, do you have an impression that National Basketball Federation shoved all the questions on the main team in the country to BC "Astana", which appears in the majority of national team players?
- For me it is very difficult and painful issue - as you know, I worked for many years as the head coach of national team of Kazakhstan. I don’t think that the Basketball Federation of RK shifts all the problems of the national team to the club. It happened so that most of the candidates to the national team now plays at ours. Yet the Federation is not able to find ways to prepare the team for the Asia championship. Although we have a good chance to get there in the top three prize-winning and break into the World Championship. All
in all, everything is inthehandsof theFederation. Butthe nationalteam ofKazakhstanand BC "Astana" - arecompletelydifferentthings.
- Can we say that someone of “Astana” Kazakhstan basketball players pleasantly surprised you this season?
- It happened that at some point one or another player made 1-2 games at a good level - Pavel Ilyin, I can say, in the decisive match for the gold medal championship. But we don’t have domestic players in our team who would be middling basketball players on the Kazakhstan standards. Those guys that have played at a high level before, continued to do so in the ended season. Those Ilyin and Klimov in a couple of matches looked not bad. Head coach gave an opportunity to express themselves to everybody. Someone took advantage of this better, someone - worse. But almost everybody showed occasional normal result. I would like to expect greater stability of Kazakhstan players in the game.
- Is someone else from the Kazakhstan players able to enhance the "Astana"?
- In my opinion, those guys who are the best in Kazakhstan, have already been collected. The only Kazakhstan
player whom Iwouldlike toseein BC "Astana" is Dmitri Gavrilov.
- That thing that Matteo Bonichiolli, as you say, gave a lot of playing time for Kazakhstan players  - is it his own initiative or policy of the club?
- I didn’t say exactly this about playing time - it was specifically that the coach gave a chance to everybody. It is the policy of the whole club. BC "Astana" was created not only to participate in the VTB United League, but also for Kazakhstan players to progress. So it's not just the initiative of the head coach, but the policy of the club, the requirement of its general manager Valery Tikhonenko.
- I remember you playing in "Otrar", showed that you are going to throw the ball, and rival players constantly came across on this trick. Do any of "Astana" today players remind you of those times Vitaly Strebkov?
- For the last 10 years, basketball has changed quite seriously. If I played today, I would do those tricks much rarely. I can say that, probably Rustam Yargaliev more reminds me of my style of play, he's on the same playing position. In the same way as I in former times he likes to throw from the distance. Of course, we have the differences in the manner of games with him, but I do not want to go into details.
- And the last question. Working in Kazakhstan basketball not the first year, you are of course well versed in the work organization in our clubs. How are the things with it in the "Astana"?
- Of course, BC "Astana" - is a completely different level. If in other clubs all the organizational work is carried out by 3-4 persons, there is a normal office now, every employee of which knows his area, everybody successfully works on its job site.
Author: Alexander Strelnikov

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