National Basketball Federation
of the Republic of Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan Men's National Basketball Team sealed its success against Syria in the 2023 World Cup qualifying away match

30.11.2021    Views: 6941
Source: Press service
The return leg of the Kazakhstan men's national basketball team against Syria in qualifying for the 2023 World Cup was no less exciting than the home game. The intrigue remained practically throughout the entire match, and again our guys made a decisive breakthrough in the ending, consolidating their success in the face-to-face confrontation with the Syrians.

The first acquaintance with the Syrian national team took place literally three days ago in Nur-Sultan, and "on the fresh trail" our team is well versed in the composition of the rivals. Of course, the main threat to our team was the naturalized American Amir Jabbar Hinton, who scored 33 points in the first game. Etouni Bakar was also another leader. In addition, Anas Shaban, Jamal Saddir, Kemal Kanbolat and Hani Adribe played a good game in Kazakhstan. All these players were announced for this match. In addition, the Syrians had a couple of changes - Abdulwahab Alhamvi and Sharif Al Osh, who did not show themselves in the first game, were replaced by Tarek Aljabi and Tofek Saleh. As for our composition, it has not changed at all since the last meeting. Also, Darko Russo did not change the starting five at this meeting - Shaim Kuanov, Alexander Zhigulin, Dmitry Gavrilov, Maxim Marchuk and Rustam Murzagaliev.

Kazakhstan Men's National Basketball Team - 2023 World Cup Qualification
Dmitry Gavrilov turned out to be more successful in the starting toss, but our first attack did not bring any points. But the owners of the parquet earned 3 points in their first attack. It took our guys a couple more forays under the rivals' ring to open their account. Captain Rustam Murzagaliev led the “Steppenwolfs” forward, realizing an accurate three-point shot. The Syrians kept their finger on the pulse and again took the lead, but one more troller, now from Alexander Zhigulin, and the Kazakh team for the first time in the match took the leading position. However, then the Syrians seized the initiative and by the middle of the first quarter were ahead of our team by 8 points. Immediately after the equator of the quarter, Rustam Murzagaliev scored 3 more points, but in the next three minutes our players again shot wide of the mark, and the gap between the rivals reached 9 points. At the eighth minute of the starting segment Ruslan Aitkali interrupted the ineffective pause with his three, and then Dmitry Gavrilov and Anton Bykov scored points. As a result, Kazakhstan's gap was reduced to two points. Despite two more points from Anton Bykov, “Steppenwolves” could not catch up with their rivals until the end of the first ten minutes - 20:18.

Anton Bykov became the first player to score points in the second period. The score was leveled, but Syria took the lead again. Bykov scored two more points, after the points from Nikolay Bazhin, our team came out ahead for the first time in the last ten game minutes. In the middle there was a struggle of equal effectiveness, and the teams changed each other a couple of times as leaders. In our team, Bykov, Balashov and Maxim Marchuk have updated their accounts. And after three more effective attacks from Zhigulin, Balashov and Aitkali, our advantage reached 8 points. The home team managed to impose a struggle and reduced the gap to three points, preventing our team from hitting the target. During this time, Darko Russo intervened in the situation, taking advantage of the right to a minute break, but the timeout did not help much. The rivals' ring did not give in until the big break. The Syrians managed to score one more point and lost the first half of the game, but with a gap of only two points - 37:39. According to the statistics of the first half, the Kazakhstanis noticeably threw their rivals out of the game, gaining almost 10 points more, but again the rudeness in the game let down. The Syrians approached the penalty line 12 times, 8 of which converted, and the Kazakhs had a 100% result 1 out of 1. By all other indicators, the Kazakh team was slightly ahead.

Maxim Marchuk
The third quarter began extremely unsuccessfully for Darko Russo's charges. The Syrians quickly leveled the score and took the lead, while our players were having difficulties with the implementation. Moreover, our nerves began to give up a little, and first a technical foul, and then immediately an unsportsmanlike one, was recorded as our liability. As a result, Syria moved ahead by 7 points, and it took our guys just over three minutes to update the score for the first time in this period. “Steppenwolves” were able to gather their strength and began a campaign to restore equality in the game. Only Anton Bykov and Maksim Marchuk scored points in the first half, but this was only enough to close the gap to three points by the middle of the quarter. Then, after accurate free throws from Zhigulin and Bykov, the score was leveled, and Anton Bykov, again from the free throw line, brought our team forward. The hosts of the site compared the score, but the end of the quarter was generally a success for the Kazakh team. The points were scored by Oleg Balashov and Maxim Marchuk, and Anton Bykov also scored not once. Kazakhstan won five points before the final ten minutes - 55:60.

Five points of the advantage did not give any confidence in victory, especially since after a minute of the game the difference was only one point. But our players again managed to seize the initiative and gradually build up the distance. Ruslan Aitkali scored the first points in the quarter. Towards the middle of the period, the score of the Kazakh squad began to be updated much more often. Two points each from Anton Bykov and Maxim Marchuk and three points from Ruslan Aitkali, as a result our advantage has already reached eight points. Well, before the equator of the quarter, the same Ruslan Aitkali for the first time in this match brought the difference between the teams to a double-digit figure. Ten points five minutes before the end of the match is not yet a victory, but our guys felt much more comfortable than their rivals, who tried to close the gap, but immediately received a counter response. Three points from Oleg Balashov and precise free throws from Maxim Marchuk kept our advantage in the region of ten points. At the end of the match, the teams defended well, and as a result, the game was not so effective. Perhaps, after the exact three from Maxim Marchuk, a minute before the end of the game, everything was already completely clear, because our team was leading by twelve points. However, the rivals did not give up and took a minute break, after which they pleased the local fans with a powerful dunk. But in the next attack, Oleg Balashov returned the twelve points difference to the scoreboard, and a little more than twenty seconds remained until the end of the meeting. The opponents earned the right to two penalties and converted them, but again lost to Kazakhstan with a lag of 10 points - 71:81. As in the first game, our team corrected its free throws in the second half, besides, it significantly re-rolled from the field and collected 10 more rebounds than the opponents.

Best players of the match:
  • Syria: Amir Jabbar Hinton was also very active today and again caused a large number of problems for the Kazakhs, gaining 32 points, but in the game under the basket he did not look as confident as in the first match, only 4 rebounds. In addition, he has 2 assists, 5 interceptions and 2 block shots. Kemal Kanbolat has 13 points and 4 rebounds.
  • Kazakhstan: Today Anton Bykov became the best in our team, who at the right moments was actively involved in the game and was very active in the game under the basket. As a result, Anton scored 24 points and 7 rebounds. In the game of Oleg Balashov, sometimes nervousness was felt, after all, only the second game for the national team, but Darko Russo today trusted him, as it turned out not in vain - 12 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists and 4 steals. Maxim Marchuk, as always, took on a lot of work and earned 14 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals and 1 block shot. Ruslan Aitkali also showed excellent play and was very helpful. As a result, I updated my personal score by 13 points and 3 rebounds.
Post-match press conference:

Consequences: In a parallel game, the teams of Bahrain and Iran met for the second time, this time in Manama. Recall that the Iranian team won at home with an advantage of 16 points, and in this match the Iranians left absolutely no chances for their rivals, having won with a score of 64: 100. Thus, Iran also with two victories, but the best goal difference is ahead of Kazakhstan and occupies the first line in the group, the Kazakhs are on the second. The Syrians and the representatives of Bahrain are so far with two defeats, but with the best goal difference, respectively, occupy the third and fourth lines.

Next match: The second qualifying window is scheduled for the end of February 2022, and our team will play both away matches - on February 24 against Iran and on February 27 against Bahrain.

Мужская национальная сборная Казахстана по баскетболу - Квалификация на Кубок Мира 2023
Detailed information about the match, lineups, news, photo and video reports, as well as statistics are published in the Match Center.

The National Basketball Federation of Kazakhstan expresses gratitude for the support and assistance in preparing the team for participation in the tournament to the National Olympic Committee, the Ministry of Culture and Sports, the "Samruk Kazyna" National Welfare Fund, the "Sport Qory" Tourism and Sports Industry Support Fund and the Nur-Sultan City Akimat. General sponsor of the National Basketball Team of Kazakhstan - "M-Sport" LLP, sponsors - "Capital City Center" LLP and "Begtas NS" Firm, technical partner - "Transtelecom" JSC, partner - "Kokshe Susyndary" company with the "Prima Naturale" trademark.

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