By Eurohoops Team/ email@example.com
Zenit Saint-Petersburg overcame an 11-point deficit to beat ALBA Berlin, 87-71, Tuesday.
Kevin Pangos sank a game-high 19 points in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Regular Season Round 27 contest in the top end of the double-game week and added yet another game-high, seven assists. Will Thomas, the leading scorer in the reverse fixture W in November, followed with 15 points plus four steals.
“They played together, but our team bounced back in the second half, and to show effort and fight the way we did, I think it is great,” said Pangos, “I think that when we play with energy, sticking to our game plan, I think we are a tough team to beat.” “We stepped up in the second half, were able to get steals, get defensive stops and score on the other end,” mentioned Thomas.
Mateusz Ponitka put in 14 points and Austin Hollins threw in 13 more points, 11 of those in the final ten minutes. The fifth double-digit effort was generated by Alex Poythress with 11 points to his name. Tarik Black in his Zenit debut scored four points in just over 13 minutes.
“Tarik Black had only been four days with us, but has helped the team, especially in the second half, helping us very much on defense and offense,” said Xavi Pascual describing his new player’s impact, “Of course, he needs time to be ready because he didn’t play in the last year, but he is one player that can help us and he showed today that he is ready to help, with good mentality, a fighter. We are very happy that he is finally with us.”
His team fell behind, 64-53, midway through the fourth quarter. The defense was not closing down ALBA’s options. A 12-1 run off the largest deficit got the Russian outlet in charge and a dominating fourth period resulting in a 19-4 overall run secured the W.
Luke Sikma produced 18 points, including nine in the third quarter but was shut down in the fourth. Simone Fontecchio finished with 12 points. Ben Lammers got 11 and Maodo Lo 10.
Arturas Gudaitis after suffering a knee injury early in the previous game versus Valencia and K.C. Rivers feeling unwell were sidelined. However, Zenit improved to 16-10 ahead of Real Madrid visiting Thursday.
The team coached by Aito Garcia Reneses missing Jayson Granger and Louis Olinde fell to 9-18 and on the brink of official elimination from the playoffs. Up next, Khimki Moscow Region on the road Friday.
“We played well for 25 minutes and bad for 15 minutes. We must accept it and not think about this game,” argued the experienced head coach, “The games are coming immediately. We play in Moscow on Friday, and again on the road on Sunday, in Germany. We have to think about the future, not about the game today.”