By Stefan Djordjevic / firstname.lastname@example.org
In a ‘win or go home’ game for Zenit Saint Petersburg against Panathinaikos OPAP, the Russian team stepped up to the occasion and sealed a spot in the EuroLeague playoffs with a convincing 112-83 win.
Zenit grabbed the last remaining playoffs ticket and the quarterfinal matchups have been set with Zenit going against the first-placed Barcelona.
Euroleague playoffs matchups are as follows:
Kevin Pangos was a true leader for Zenit throughout the whole season, winning them many games in crunch time and he delivered once again.
Pangos was phenomenal and consistent in all the 33 minutes he spent on the floor. He banked in 33 points on 7-12 from deep while also dishing 11 assists for a total PIR of 41.
As he said: “It was a good game for us. I think we played hard the whole 40 minutes and we knew it was important to get to the playoffs, so I’m happy for our team. We don’t feel like we’re done; we want to keep going. We love the group that we’re playing with, we love the staff, everyone here, so we want to keep playing as long as possible.”
Will Thomas followed him with a perfect shooting night as he scored 18 points without a missed attempt at the basket. Billy Baron added 12 points.
It was a triumph with coach Xavi Pascual admitting: “I think we deserve to be [in the playoffs] for what we did until now. 2021 was a difficult year for us. We started with so many injuries and step by step we recovered our shape for the last part of the competition, so I think we deserve to be where we are. We were working with this mentality all season. It’s true that at the beginning of the season, nobody believed we could do something like that, but basketball is like this. The players worked all season in an amazing way. And now we have to enjoy the moment and continue.”
Nemanja Nedovic’s efforts produced 20 points for Panathinaikos with Ioannis Papapetrou scoring 16 and Aaron White ten points.