ASTANA LOSES TO BISONS
Today, Bisons (Finland) defeated Astana (Kazakhstan) on the road, 90-80. The visitors knocked down nine 3-pointers in the first half to take a 20-point lead. Astana opened the second half on a 15-0 run and tied the game up several times, but Bisons didn't panic, scoring 18 points in the final five minutes to hold off Astana and secure the win. Bisons have now won two straight and sit three games back of the final playoff spot.
Astana head coach Ramunas Butautas:
- The Finnish team was two times quicker and more aggressive than us on defense and on offense. We couldn't score at all, while the Finns answered with 3-pointers every time. Timeouts didn't help. Then we managed to up the tempo and started switching more often on defense. We started moving more and playing more aggressively on defense. But our rotation was too small. That made it difficult to hold the tempo and we made mistakes at the end, while the Finns knocked down two 3-pointers, which proved decisive.
Bisons head coach Greg Gibson:
- We managed to defeat a very strong opponent today. Astana is a terrific team and I got to see a wonderful city and excellent arena. I'd say that the key to our win was our run at the start of thegame. We played great. Astana made an incredible comeback, but we didn't lose our rhythm, which was very important.
Astana: Nik Caner-Medley - 18 points, 14 rebounds; Jerry Johnson - 14 points, six assists; J'Covan Brown - 14 points, five assists; Rasid Mahalbasic - 12 points.
Bisons: Anthony Hilliard - 28 points, six rebounds; Matti Nuutinen - 15 points, six rebounds; Kotti Tuukka - 12 points, five rebounds; Ian Hummer - 10 points, eight rebounds; Aaron Johnson - nine points, seven assists.
Next match Astana will play at home on February 20th at 20:00 pm against legendary Moscow CSKA.