Zenit upsets defending champion Anadolu Efes in Euroleague
Zenit St Petersburg dominated the third quarter and held on in the fourth to defeat defending champion Anadolu Efes Istanbul 76-67 on Thursday night at SIBUR Arena. Alex Poythress shined with a career-high 21 points plus 9 rebounds to lead Zenit, which matched AX Armani Exchange Milan on victories for third place and improved to 13-7 on the season.
Zenit – Efes: 76-67 (+9)
Z: Loyd (8), Karasev (6), Kulagin (9), Mickey (15 + 5 rebounds), Poythress (21 + 9 rebounds) – start; Carter (DNP), Baron (13), Zakharov (0), Ponitka (6 rebounds), Kuzminskas (0), Zubkov (4), Pushkov (0).
A: Beaubois (7), Singleton (4), Micic (22 + 6 rebounds), Pleis (2), Simon (17) – start; Moerman (11 + 6 rebounds), Tuncher (6 rebounds), Petrusev (0), Ghazi (0), Dunston (4 + 6 rebounds), Bryant (0).
BC Zenit Head Coach Xavier Pascual:
We are very pleased with this victory. This was the game in which each of the teams could play better, I think. Defense was an important factor in today’s match, it reflected the numbers on the scoreboard. The opponents had opportunities to score from the fast break, which they did, we missed important points in this component. In the third quarter, we managed to make a small lead, while Efes was unable to score. We must pay tribute to the Turkish team, which at the end of the match returned to the game. We managed to keep the right score and win such an important victory. Denis Zakharov got injured and was out, I think, for a few days. In general, we finished the game with minor injuries: Karasev had a shoulder injury, Ponitka injured his right hand. Now we will need to have a good rest and recover, because there will be away matches for almost the whole of February. And the next home game is only on February 25th. Congratulations on your win and thanks for your support!
On Feb 1 Zenit will have another Euroleague clash against Baskonia on the road. Next home game will be played on Feb 25 against first-ranked FC Barcelona. Tickets are on sale: tickets.bc-zenit.com