Zenit St Petersburg have made a positive contribution to the improvement while a negative for us in the balance of meetings between Russian and Spanish teams in the Euroleague. In the 19th round of the regular championship basketball team from Neva banks defeated on the platform of the “Basque country” from Vitoria – 72:66.
To play with an experienced opponent Euroleague debutant “Zenith” came in the unenviable status of an outsider. Five wins in 18 matches was also at the Lithuanian “Zalgiris” and German “Alba”, but the St. Petersburg group with the worst points difference was at the last place. Although in the previous round, the team of head coach Joan Plaza has created loud sensation, having won on the road in the Moscow suburb of Mytishchi aspiring to get into the playoffs “Khimki” – 83:81.
With the score tied in the last minute of normal time, the players of “Zenit” in a short period managed to score seven points and eventually celebrated the success
And now the success of the meeting with the “Basque country” has allowed our third grade team first win in the Euroleague two consecutive wins. Along the way, Zenit corrected statistics home matches in official competitions this season. Many fans already tired of looking at home the defeat of their favorites. Earlier in the Euroleague “Zenit” in the city on the Neva lost to the Spanish “Barcelona”, the Greek “Panathinaikos” CSKA, “Khimki”, the Spanish “real” (Madrid), the Israeli Maccabi (tel Aviv) and the Serbian “Tsrvena the Stars” and United League “Nizhny Novgorod”, Krasnodar “Lokomotiv-Kuban” Perm “Parma” and again “Khimki”. The list is really impressive, with Zenit much better serve guests. That’s the paradox.
This time wards Plaza immediately took up the matter – 12:4 in the middle of the first quarter, double-digit advantage early in the second period (28:16). Long attempts “the Basque country” to get closer to rival or even surpass his success in the 36th minute, when after two consecutive long distance shots of the American Henry Pierre, last season played for UNICS Kazan, guests took the lead – 61:60.
To the last minute of normal time the score was equal (65:65). Throws pole Mateusz of Panicky and Lithuanian Tim Abromaitis plus exemplary in the performance of Andrei Zubkov, and will Thomas allowed the hosts for a short period to achieve superiority in six points.
“Zenith” has achieved a hard victory without point guard of the national team of Russia Dmitry Khvostov, who was injured recently. The best scorer of the winners was Thomas (19 points), the assets of Panicky 14 points for the performance.
– We knew the character of the players “the Basque country” and remembered that the opponent had recently beaten Barcelona. But we showed the best protection, kept them under 70 points, and this means understanding the following: the defense can do everything – said helmsman “Zenith” Joan Plaza. – 21 although our loss is a lot, some were unforced, perhaps because we were in a hurry.
Where will look
January 17, Friday, “Match TV”
19.30. CSKA – “Basque country” (Spain). Video stream (with a half-hour preview).
20.00. “Zenit” – “Valencia” (Spain). Video stream.