"Working hard and smart and having togetherness are the keys," the the 6ft 7in (2.00m) forward explained. "There really is no point talking about chances because at the end of the day it has to all be shown on the basketball court. It is the process which is the reward, and everything else is just a bonus. I feel if we continue in the process then everything else will take care of itself."
At 29 years of age, Kolesnikov is considered one of the veterans on the national team, which means coach Mikhail Karpenko will look to him for leadership. Kolesnikov is aware of how important this is, knowing full well that many from Kazakhstan's current generation are approaching the tail-end of their international careers.
"We have all showed a desire to represent our country to the fullest," he shared. "It is a huge honor that I am only now starting to realize the true responsibility of representing Kazakhstan. A lot of the senior players understand this may be the last opportunity to represent Kazakhstan on the world stage, so it is a do or die attitude for us. Combine this with a professional coaching staff and management, and we feel we can achieve some great things."
Kazakhstan will look to cause an upset against Iran on February 22 before eyeing a repeat success against Qatar three days later. Both fixtures will be home games for the Steppe Wolves, with the action taking place at the Republican Cycle Track Arena in Astana.