Winning Astana and fixing ourselves on the 1st place!

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During the final quarter, UNICS brought the lead to +20 and finished the match with a confident victory over Astana with a score of 71:59 thanks to 32 points and 18 rebounds of both Mario Hezonja and Jarrell Brantley.

VTB United League. Regular season.
UNICS (Kazan, Russia) - Astana (Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan) - 71:59 (26:15, 10:16, 15:12, 20:16).
UNICS: Hezonja (18 + 9 rebounds + 3 assists + 3 steals + 1 block shot), Brantley (14 + 9 rebounds + 2 assists + 2 steals + 1 block shot), L. Brown (8 + 2 assists), Uzinsky (8).
Astana: Barford (16 + 3 rebounds + 3 assists), Hickey (12 + 6 assists + 3 rebounds), Campbell (12 + 12 rebounds + 2 steals + 2 assists).

To this day, Kazan has won brilliant victories in the Euroleague over Real, Baskonia and Panathinaikos; CSKA  - is in the VTB United League. The game vs. Astana, which managed to beat Zenit in St. Petersburg, was indicative. As a result, UNICS confirmed its leadership ambitions.

Kazan put up the following starting lineup against Astana: John Brown, Lorenzo Brown, Jarrell Brantley, Mario Hezonja and Dmitry Uzinsky.
In the first quarter, our team immediately confirmed their class - 10: 4, 14:10. Hezonja scored a very nice dunk after his steal. We would like to note the successful substitution of Artem Komolov, who realized a three-point shot - 26:15, so he put a beautiful point in the first quarter.
In the second period, after a long-range hit, Astana reduced the gap to four points, 31:27. Snatch of guests 7-0. UNICS attack stalls. The guests deservedly won this quarter, the advantage of Kazan was five points, 36:31. Key numbers: 20-15 rebounds, 6-7 losses, 9-9 assists.
After a long break, the hosts returned the guests to a distance of 10 points, 44:34 after free throws performed by Brantley. Astana is trying to keep up - 46:40. Only after Lorenzo Braun's “three” UNICS returned the guests to a decent distance, 51:40, the maximum lead of our team. And in the final ten minutes, Astana residents try to slow down the Kazan attacks as much as possible, 53:45. But UNICS has already scored a good move - Brantley made powerful dunks 62:47 in the middle of the quarter. Isaiah Canaan's “three” - 67:47. The intrigue in the match disappeared, the hosts won a landslide victory, allowing the guests in the end to correct the final statistics, 71:59


Velimir PERASOVIC, BC UNICS head coach:
“It was an extremely important match for us because a home defeat against Astana would have completely neutralized the victory over CSKA. Our opponent started the season extremely successfully. They won two victories and lost two games only in the last seconds, showing very good basketball, especially in the offense. Therefore, I am especially pleased that we managed to keep them at 59 points, which is difficult to achieve against such an attacking team like Astana.
Artem KOMOLOV, BC UNICS guard:
“First of all, we are glad that we managed to win. Astana is a strong team that shows very high quality basketball this season. Our task was to approach the match with the utmost concentration and maintain the lead in the standings. In general, I think that we managed to fulfill the game plan and achieve victory. It is most important. I am glad that today I got a lot of playing minutes, during which I tried to bring the maximum benefit to the team ”.

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