2019-20Regular SeasonRound 9
November 19, 2019 CET: 21:00
Local time: 21:00 LA FONTETA

Valencia rallies past Zenit in a thriller

Valencia Basket rallied from double-digit deficits to defeat Zenit St Petersburg 94-90 at home in La Fonteta on Tuesday. Valencia improved to 3-6 in the standings while Zenit dropped to 2-7. Alberto Abalde led the winners with 18 points. Jordan Loyd added 17, Mike Tobey 12 and Guillem Vives 11. Alex Renfroe and Will Thomas led Zenit with 17 points apiece. Gustavo Ayon added 13 while Tim Abromaitis had 11 for the guests. Thomas helped Zenit overcome a slow start and Vladislav Trushkin struck from downtown for a 15-16 score after 10 minutes. Zenit found a go-to guy in Abromaitis, who got help from Dmitry Khvostov and Thomas to boost the guests' lead to 33-38 at halftime. A three-pointer by Thomas gave Zenit its biggest lead, 46-57, but Vives and Loyd brought Valencia to within 57-63 after 30 minutes. Back-to-back triples by Abalde completed the hosts' comeback, 74-71, turning the game into a thriller. Renfroe gave Zenit its last lead, 83-84, but Abalde and Loyd allowed Valencia to go up 89-86 and free throws by Loyd and Bojan Dubljevic sealed the outcome.

Valencia got off to a 5-3 start before Thomas made a put-back and Colton Iverson a turnaround jumper for Zenit's first lead, 7-9. Loyd and Tobey hit triples for Valencia in an 8-0 run that flipped the script to 15-9. Thomas and Trushkin did the same, however, as Zenit's 7-0 run closed the first quarter 15-16. Austin Hollins dunked before Abalde, Trushkin and Loyd traded triples in the second quarter, but soon Louis Labeyrie helped Valencia regain a 23-22 lead. Thomas hit his trademark turnaround jumper and Abromaitis added a corner triple that gave Zenit fresh air at 23-27. Abalde stepped up with a driving layup and a jumper on the way to a 29-29 tie. Abromaitis soon followed a put-back layup with a triple for a 31-34 Zenit lead. A floater by Dimitry Khvostov and a buzzer-beating baseline jumper by Thomas boosted Zenit to a 33-38 halftime advantage. Anton Ponkrashov's triple plus points by Hollins and Andrew Albicy kept Zenit way ahead, 39-47, in the third quarter. Dubljevic scored inside and Fernando San Emeterio from deep as Valencia pulled within 44-49. Albicy went deep before Ayon made it a double-digit difference again, 44-54. Thomas bombed from the arc at 46-57 before triples by Loyd and Vives fueled an 8-0 Valencia run to within 54-57. Ayon and Abromaitis teamed up to lengthen Zenit's edge to 57-63 after 30 minutes. Tobey and Labeyrie each hit a three-pointer early in the fourth quarter to bring Valencia as close as 63-65. Labeyrie scored again to tie, but Renfroe restored a 65-69 Zenit lead. Quino Colom hit one triple and Abalde two to complete Valencia's comeback, 74-71, with more than 4 minutes left. Vives and Thomas joined the three-point shootout, then Colom hit a floater to make it 80-75. Renfroe, Abalde and Hollins kept up the three-point parade for Valencia, but Renfroe insisted from downtown himself to send Zenit back in front, 83-84, in the next-to-last minute. After Abalde answered with a jumper, Renfroe hit free throws and Tobey split his, it was an 86-86 tie with 41 seconds left. Loyd hit the critical three-pointer to break the tie, after which Ayon and Loyd traded foul shots, Albicy missed from downtown and Dubljevic sealed the outcome down the stretch.

Pivotal performer

Abalde had one of the best games in his EuroLeague career, getting good numbers but offering intangibles like hustle, intensity and a team-oriented effort. He came off the bench to provide 18 points on 3-for.4 two-point and 4-for-6 three-point shooting, adding 3 offensive rebounds and 2 fouls drawn for a PIR of 20.

Game-changing moment

Renfroe gave Zenit its last lead, 83-84, with 3 minutes left. Abalde buried a baseline jumper and soon Loyd added a very important three-pointer that gave Valencia the lead for good, 89-86, with 31.2 seconds left. An excellent use of tactical fouls and free throw accuracy allowed Valencia to seal the outcome.

Stellar stat

Valencia set a new club record for most three-point shots made with 16. Its previous record was 15 twice, both in March 2018, against Brose Bamberg and Real Madrid, respectively. Zenit also set a new club record with 14 three-pointers made, but it was not enough to beat Valencia at La Fonteta.

Did you notice?

Thomas returned to Valencia after three successful seasons with the Spanish powerhouse, which he helped win the Spanish League title in 2017 and the EuroCup trophy in 2019. He was awarded a standing ovation before the game and Thomas did not disappoint anyone, finishing the game with season highs in points (17), assists (4) and PIR (24).

Next game:

Both teams return to action later this week in Round 10. Valencia hosts Khimki Moscow Region on Thursday in is a rematch of the 2012 7DAYS EuroCup Championship Game. Zenit visits KIROLBET Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz on Friday.

Bojan Dubljevic - Valencia Basket - EB19
Tuesday, November 19, 2019
Attendance: 6954 (Tentative)
By Quarter1234
Valencia Basket15182437
Zenit St Petersburg16222527
End of Quarter1234
Valencia Basket15335794
Zenit St Petersburg16386390
Valencia Basket
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
1 COLOM, QUINO 21:56 5 1/4 1/4     1 1 7   2       3 8
2 MARINKOVIC, VANJA 13:13 2 1/4               1   1 4   -7
3 LOYD, JORDAN 23:11 17 1/2 4/7 3/4   2 2 4 1 1     4 5 19
5 NDOUR, MAURICE 19:10 6 3/6 0/1   2   2     1 1     1 5
6 ABALDE, ALBERTO 25:47 18 3/4 4/6   3   3             2 20
7 LABEYRIE, LOUIS 20:49 7 1/2 1/1 2/2   5 5           1 1 11
10 TOBEY, MIKE 22:21 12 2/4 2/2 2/4 1 2 3 5   2 1   3 2 14
12 MOTUM, BROCK 2:16 2 1/2           1             2
14 DUBLJEVIC, BOJAN 15:23 8 3/5 0/1 2/2 3 8 11     2   1 2 3 14
16 VIVES, GUILLEM 19:16 10 0/1 3/6 1/2   2 2 1 2 1     5 2 6
19 SAN EMETERIO, FERNANDO 14:13 7 1/2 1/1 2/2       2 1 1     1 2 9
42 DOORNEKAMP, AARON 2:25                              
Team           4 2 6               6
Totals 200:00 94 17/36 16/29 12/16 13 22 35 20 4 11 2 2 20 21 107
        47.2% 55.2% 75%
Min: Minutes played; Pts: Points; 2FG M-A: 2-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); 3FG M-A: 3-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); FT M-A: Free Throws (Made-Attempted); Rebounds: O (Offensive), D (Defensive), T (Total); As: Assists; St: Steals; To: Turnovers; Bl: Blocks (Fv: In Favor / Ag: Against); Fouls: Cm (Commited), Rv (Received); PIR: Performance Index Rating
Zenit St Petersburg
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
4 IVERSON, COLTON 15:25 3 1/3   1/2 3 2 5 2     1 1 1 2 8
6 ALBICY, ANDREW 21:27 7   2/4 1/3       3 1 1     2 2 6
7 PONKRASHOV, ANTON 14:42 5 1/4 1/2   1 2 3 1 1 1     1 2 6
9 HOLLINS, AUSTIN 29:10 9 1/1 1/5 4/5   2 2 1     1   3 2 7
10 THOMAS, WILL 32:50 17 4/5 3/5   2 1 3 4 1         2 24
11 BALASHOV, SERGEI DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
12 RENFROE, ALEX 20:05 17 2/2 2/3 7/8 2 3 5 6 2 2     3 4 27
13 KHVOSTOV, DMITRY 13:00 2 1/1 0/1         2   2     4 3  
14 PUSHKOV, ANTON 9:35   0/3     1 1 2     1     1 1 -2
16 TRUSHKIN, VLADISLAV 12:14 6   2/7                   2   -1
21 ABROMAITIS, TIM 9:23 11 1/3 3/4   1 2 3 1       1     11
34 AYON, GUSTAVO 22:09 13 5/10   3/3 2 2 4 1 1 3     4 2 9
Team             4 4               4
Totals 200:00 90 16/32 14/31 16/21 12 19 31 21 6 10 2 2 21 20 99
        50% 45.2% 76.2%
Head coach: PLAZA, JOAN

Head Coaches

Valencia Basket
"It was a tough game, played against a tough team. They played with great knowledge of our team, and we had a lot of problems in the first half, especially in five-on-five situations. We couldn't control the rebounds and therefore we couldn't run, but found good options with dynamic offenses. My players didn't find their best inspiration in the first half. We improved our activity and controlled the rebounds in the second half, and even had more offensive rebounds than them. Thanks to this situation, we changed the feel of the game and we changed the score. In the last quarter, our three-point efficiency decided the game. I believe we have reached this double-round week at a moment in the season when we have more players involved, even with Sam's (Van Rossom) injury, and ready to help. That is what we have to keep looking for. We highlighted Vanja's (Marinkovic) work in our last game, today it is Alberto (Abalde) and Jordan (Loyd). We only played 'Dubi' (Bojan Dubljevic) for 15 minutes because Mike (Tobey) did well in the second half, rebounding really well. All those things tell us that the more players we have, the better we will deal with this demanding competition. The most probable scenario, watching other EuroLeague seasons, is that Vanja didn't play his best game tonight because the calendar is physically and mentally demanding. This is why it is important to have more players ready to play with energy. We hit shots, but we changed the game through our energy. That is very important. We will see which players we find it against Khimki."
Zenit St Petersburg
"I think that when you play with fire, in the end, these things usually happen. I really think that were some moments in the game in which we could have broken the game, but we missed some easy baskets and then our defense became worse and worse. We won three quarters and only lost the last one, and we lost the game. It means that the game is not yours, it is not in your bag, until you get it totally, until the final whistle. We didn't play defense the way we did in the first three quarters and they scored 8 of 10 threes in the fourth quarter. It may be a record, a team scoring 8 of 10 three-pointers in the last quarter. Nobody doubts that Valencia has a lot of talent, but also we allowed some easy threes in our faces that we cannot allow. They have talent, we know that Abalde and Colom can hit threes, also Loyd in the corners, and we let them do that in some moments. Some others we contested the shots. Some of these threes allowed them to get into the game again. We were better than them in most aspects of the game – in two-pointers, free throws, steals, turnovers, assists – but the difference was on three-point shots. They hit 55% from three-point range and we hit 45%. That is a great number for us but 55% against you is really bad. It means that we need to keep learning to close games when we have more chances than our opponents to win."


Valencia Basket
"That was a great team effort right there. It just shows that now we have 14 players that can play and today, everybody stepped up. That is what we need. We just have to build up from this and keep winning!"
Valencia Basket
"It was amazing. Full team effort, coaches included. When the times were hard, we stayed together, stayed positive and just tried to play hard defense when it counted. Everybody was on fire, man [in the fourth quarter], it was three for us, three for them... but luckily, we had a few more and got the victory. We are just happy to get this win, especially at home."
Valencia Basket
"It was a good team win. I played well today, but everybody has to be ready to get the win, to help the team. I think it was, for sure, a team win. We have to be focused on going game by game. Now, we are good and have another game at home on Thursday. That is all that matters."
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