Frankamp, Baron lead Zenit past UNICS

2021-10-01T20:34:29+00:00 2021-10-02T04:03:11+00:00.

Antonis Stroggylakis

01/Oct/21 20:34

Eurohoops.net

In the first Russian duel of the season, Zenit St. Petersburg got the road win over UNICS

By Eurohoops team/ info@eurohoops.net

Despite ending the game with a 9-0 run, UNICS Kazan couldn’t complete the comeback and Zenit St. Petersburg got the 70-69 road win.

Conner Frankamp with 18 points and Billy Baron with 17 led the charge for the winners who played with fire in the closing minutes but ultimately prevailed.

Both teams were missing key players. Zenit didn’t have injured Shabazz Napier and for UNICS O.J.Mayo was also absent.

Without him, former NBA players Isaiah Canaan with 18 points and Mario Hezonja with 14 tried to save the day. After a close game, Zenit got a 66-54 lead four minutes before the end, UNICS did react, but couldn’t steal the “W”.

Zenit coach Xavi Pascual admitted that his team lost control in the end: “The game was more or less as we thought that it would be before the game. In the last part of the game, we took an important advantage. We were, I think, 10 points up before the last 3 minutes, or the last 2:30, something like that. And after that, we lost control of the game and this is something that we have to improve because, on some nights like today when you have this advantage, you cannot lose the game. So on one side, we are happy, but on the other side, it is obvious that we have to improve in a lot of scenarios.”

Jordan Loyd added 10 points for Zenit. It was the first-ever game between the two clubs in the EuroLeague and getting the road win was more than important for the team of coach Pascual.

As Billy Baron added: “We knew they would play with a lot of energy. It is their first game in the EuroLeague in a while, so we knew they were going to come out with a lot of rhythm in this game. Thankfully, it wasn’t pretty, but we came out with an important victory. Any road victory in the EuroLeague is crucial. We played really, really sloppy, so there is a lot of area for improvement, but we will get there.”