By Eurohoops team/ firstname.lastname@example.org
This was the sixth consecutive defeat for Zenit. The Russian side is at the bottom of the standings with a 2-9 record.
In a similar fashion to the victory over CSKA Moscow, Real’s Argentinian duo were once again the top contributors for the “Blancos”. Facu Campazzo scored a game-high 19 points and dished out six assists while Gabriel Deck added 15 points and eight rebounds.
Former two-time EuroLeague champion with Real Madrid Gustavo Ayon dropped a team-high 18 points (5/15 shots) and grabbed 10 rebounds for Zenit. Evgeny Voronov had 17 points and Will Thomas 13 points and nine rebounds.
Real led up to 20 points in the third quarter, following a bucket by Deck for the 37 – 57. Zenit rallied to make it 64 – 69 three minutes into the final quarter but their opponents answered with a 0-7 run to retake a double-digit advantage.
Laso praising Tavares
For Real Madrid coach Pablo Laso, the key was Walter Tavares: “I think it was very important what Tavares did close to the basket, the way he dominated, rebounded and controlled the situation where they attack very well. They are good on the offensive board and I think he was able to contest almost everything. After that, we were able to have some good rhythm offensively. We knew we were going to have a lot of open three-point shots and that is what we got”.
On the other side, coach Joan Plaza was satisfied by the spirit of his player, but on the other hand, he admitted that Zenit St. Petersburg couldn’t stop Madrid: “Well, the first thing that we need to understand is that when you play against a great team like Real Madrid, the [runs] can send you out of the game. One of the things we talked with the players before the game was trying to avoid these [runs]. When they scored 3 threes in a row, or they run the fastbreak three consecutive times, or they have 2 or 3 steals in a row, that leads them into these [runs] that can break the game. But I am proud of my players because they didn’t give up”.
Photo credit: EuroLeague