MoraBanc grabs big road win at Zenit
MoraBanc Andorra picked up a critical road victory in its quest to reach the 7DAYS EuroCup elimination rounds by knocking off Zenit St. Petersburg 71-80 to remain undefeated in the Top 16. Dylan Ennis scored 19 points on 4 three-pointers while John Shurna nailed 5 threes for 17 points to go with 7 rebounds. Moussa Diagne and Andrew Albicy both scored 10 points as MoraBanc improved to 3-0 in Group H. Zenit, which was playing without leading scorer Sergey Karasev, dropped to 1-2 despite 17 points from Vladislav Trushkin. Jalen Reynolds posted 16 points, 10 rebounds and 2 blocks in defeat.
Trushkin scored the first 4 points of the game for the hosts beforeAlbicy's three-pointer started a 0-12 run. After Diagne made it 7-16, Gal Mekel and Philip Scrubb knocked down threes at the other end in an 11-0 Zenit surge to take the lead, 18-16. The visitors led 23-26 after 10 minutes. MoraBanc played some tough defense to start the second quarter and held Zenit to just one basket in the first 7 minutes, while Michele Vitali and Ennis both nailed three-pointers in a 3-12 spurt to go up 28-39. Trushkin stopped the drought with 5 straight points and Zenit trailed just 38-44 at the break. Shurna started the second half with a three-pointer for MoraBanc, but Trushkin kept Zenit close with a basket and another three to make it 46-49. Shurna remained hot with two triples as the visitors remained ahead, 50-57. Zenit managed to cut the gap to 1 only to see Vitali drain a triple at the buzzer of the third quarter for a 56-60 scoreline. MoraBanc would not let Zenit closer as Albicy nailed a three and Ennis hit 3 free throws in pushing the advantage to 61-70. An Ennis triple made it 63-74 with 4 minutes left. Reynolds scored 4 points in trying to get Zenit back into it, but, as all game long, MoraBanc hit a big three with Shurna draining his fifth for a 69-79 cushion with 1 minute to play.
Game changing sequence
Zenit trimmed the gap to 61-63 early in the fourth quarter, but MoraBanc refused to cave in on the road as Dylan Ennis hit 3 free throws and a three-pointer in scoring 8 points in a 2-11 surge to regain control of the game.
John Shurna not only hit 5 three-pointers in scoring 17, points but he also picked up 7 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals and 2 blocks without a turnover in 31 minutes for a performance index rating of 21.
MoraBanc turned the ball over just 9 times while hitting 13 of 32 three-pointers (40.6%) – helping overcome losing the rebounding battle 45-31, including 15 Zenit offensive rebounds.
Zenit and MoraBanc will face off against each other in just over a week in Andorra on Wednesday, January 23.
Tuesday, January 15, 2019