By Johnny Askounis/ email@example.com
In a quick turnaround after defeating Panathinaikos OPAP on the road three days ago, the former ace of the Greek club, Mario Hezonja was the top performer for UNICS Kazan in the home win, 71-59, versus Astana Nur-Sultan.
The Croatian superstar missed all of his four shots from beyond the arc but managed to put up a game-high 18 points and also grab nine rebounds in Monday’s VTB United League Regular Season affair. He also logged three assists and three steals, while earning six fouls.
Jarrell Brantley, selected with the 50th overall pick of the 2019 NBA draft and former member of the Utah Jazz, went for 14 points, nine rebounds, two assists, and two steals. Jaylen Barford ended up with 16 points for the losing side, Antonio Campbell and Anthony Hickey had 12 points apiece.
The hot stretch starting for UNICS one week ago with the home win opposite CSKA Moscow in the previous VTB fixture, extended to a third consecutive win. It was also the sixth win and seven games across all competitions. Marco Spissu, O.J. Mayo, and Andrey Vorontsevich were inactive.
The team led by Velimir Perasovic improved the VTB-high record to 6-1 heading into the next Turkish Airlines EuroLeague double-game week. The Russian club, currently at 4-5, will host AX Armani Exchange Olimpia Milano Wednesday and ALBA Berlin Friday.
Lurking behind UNICS in the VTB standings, Zenit Saint Petersburg and Avtodor Saratov are tied at 4-1, while CSKA, Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar, and Nizhny Novgorod are 4-2. The Kazakhstan team was forced down to 2-3.