22 - 31
July 2016
13 Nikita Timofeyev (KAZ)
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Timofeyev, Kazakhstan were expecting more

TEHRAN (FIBA Asia U18 Championship) - Kazakhstan head home from the 2016 FIBA Asia U18 Championship with just one victory and wishing they had accomplished more, according to leader Nikita Timofeyev

"We expected a better performance in this tournament and the minimum was a place in the Quarter-Finals," said Timofeyev, who led the team in scoring with 14.8 points per game while grabbing 11.8 rebounds and blocking 2.6 shots to go with 1.4 steals.

Kazakhstan's lone win in Group B was over Indonesia with losses against Lebanon, Iran, Korea and Japan in taking fifth place in the group. 

"We didn't played well, and I think the reason is because we were nervous and under pressure," Timofeyev said. 

"We expected a better performance in this tournament and the minimum was a place in the Quarter-Finals." - Timofeyev

The 1.98m forward was hoping for at least a return trip to the Quarters - like Kazakhstan did in 2014. The country’s top performance in any international competition came at this age group when Kazakhstan reached the 2008 final - also in Tehran - and lost to Iran. That Kazakh team featured two of the country's top players right now - Aleksandr Zhigulin and Pavel Ilin.

"I look up to them because they are very good and strong players," said Timofeyev, who played against them this past season in the Kazakh first league as they play for BC Astana.  

Timofeyev has already made good strides in the game, only starting playing basketball in 2013. 

"I liked it right from the beginning," said Timofeyev, who was with Kazakh top flight club BC Almaty Legion the entire 2015-16 season, playing in 12 games. 

"We had a great coach (Nikolaj Tanaseychuk). I learned a lot from him," said Timofeyev, who played the whole season as a 17-year-old and doesn’t turn 18 until October. "Playing games with the team gave me more experience and helped me improve my communication skills with the players."

Timofeyev was one of Kazakhstan's main weapons in Tehran along with Artem Parfenov. But near double-doubles for both (Parfenov averaged 10.5 points and 9.2 rebounds) were not enough to get the team to the Quarters.

"I did my best for the team in this championship, but surely I could've done better," Timofeyev said.