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Today in the capital of Kazakhstan was the match of VTB United League between Astana and leader of the group ‘B’ League – the club from Moscow region Khimki.
This match for Astana from the beginning wasn’t easy. In the match did not participate team leader Jerry Johnson, he got an injury. For our team it’s a big loss. In the hospital are also Rustam Yargaliev and Anton Ponomarev. Defender Brion Rush played with unhealed injury.
Starting five of Astana: Branko Cvetkovic, Anatoly Kolesnikov, Janis Blooms, Patrick Kalates, and Olasheni Laval.
The scoring was opened by the guests, Yegor Vyaltsev brought to his team 2 points. Following a three-pointer followed from the captain of Khimki Sergei Monya. From the first minutes of the match, Khimki began to play active – 5:0.
But Astana was not long in coming. Branko Cvetkovic opened the throwing track. Unfortunately, several attacks were unsuccessful; the ball still couldn’t fall into the basket. Khimki contrary caught the right tempo of long-range throws. The result of the first quarter is 11:22 in favor of the visitors.
The second period for the Astana continued also not comforting. The loss of Jerry Johnson felt in the game. After 2 successful three-pointers of the guests, the head coach of Astana takes a timeout. Then Janis Blooms pleased with his brand three-pointer throw and Brion Rush twice brought three points his team. Now timeout takes Rimas Kurtinaytis. After that, his team made ​​two successful attacks.

Second timeout in the period takes Trifunovic. And very good one, Blooms – Simon – Rush bring the points to the team. But the difference of 10 points was maintained until the end of the first half of the meeting – 33:44 in favor of the Russian team.
Third ten minutes unfortunately did not bring intrigue to the match. Opponent attacked our basket from a distance successfully. Astana tried hard, but couldn’t decrease the difference in the score.
The third period finished with the score – 47:70 in favor of Khimki.
Final quarter also was dictated by the Russian club.
The match ended with a score of 69:91 in favor of the leader of the League Khimki.
Statistics: Janis Blooms – 21 points, David Simon – 11 points, 6 rebounds, Dmitriy Klimov – 11 points, Brion Rush – 10 points.
MVP of Khimki was Sergei Monya, with – 19 points, 7 rebounds, Petteri Koponen – 19 points, Marko Popovic – 14 points, 6 assists.

Head coach of Astana Aleksandar Trifunovic:
– Congratulations to Khimki with their victory. They showed why they are one of the best teams in the league and in Europe at the moment. We are having a big problem with the leading players in the club: two days before the match due to fever did not train Olaseni Laval, and today we dound out that the Jerry Johnson cannot play. We had to change everything.
Against the teams such as Khimki or CSKA we cannot find success, unless we play as a unit. But still, I look forward with optimism. We will reach the goals that we have.
Head coach of Khimki Rimas Kurtinaitis:
– I can say that after watching the last three games of Astana, we worried. In Kazakhstan, we have already lost, also were defeated by Astana in Moscow. Therefore, we have now tuned to 120%. Astana was not lucky today, Jerry Johnson didn’t play. Of course it was felt that it is not enough; Brion Rush is also a good player, but he plays a different role in the. Astana fought till the last seconds. I wish to the team and to Valeriy Tihonenko success. You have all the chances to reach the playoffs.
The next meeting of the basketball players of Astana will be in the national championship on 11th-12th February against Almaty.