By Eurohoops team / email@example.com
Zenit St Petersburg recovered from Tuesday’s defeat against Khimki to end the double-game week on a positive note, with a 73-66 victory over ALBA Berlin on the road for Round 10 of Turkish Airlines EuroLeague.
Will Thomas helped the hosts remain in charge during the first half and finished the game with 17 points, while Arturas Gudaitis worked excellently under the rim to pace Zenit in the second half and exit the game with a 16-point performance along with two rebounds. Mateusz Ponitka hit three pairs of free-throws to ultimately hand Zenit the win and finished the game with 14 points.
Long-range shooting was a big issue for both teams in the first half, as ALBA went to the lockers fruitless after 11 efforts, while the Russian side made 3 out of 15, as the score was as low as 33-22 in Zenit’s favor after 20 minutes.
ALBA lost Marcus Erikkson in the first half, as he was spotted returning from the lockers in crutches, though the seriousness of the injury is yet to be determined.
With Giffey fouled out early in the fourth period, Luke Sikma benched for over five game-minutes after a bad fall, the omens were bad for the hosts despite recovering the deficit in the third period and making it a two-possession game. Zenit managed to safeguard its lead in the final minutes and got away with the win to improve to a 4-2 record.
“Defense was very important tonight. We played against a team with an excellent coach that I think is the best team in the competition in fastbreaks, how they run and use the space. Today, we were very concentrated on this point. They couldn’t score too much in transition”, mentioned Zenit coach Xavi Pascual after the game.
ALBA only had Ben Lammers scoring in double figures with a double-double 15 points and 10 boards as they now fall to a 2-6 record.