2016-17 Team Profile: Zenit St Petersburg

Jul 11, 2016 by Eurocupbasketball.com Print
2016-17 Team Profile: Zenit St Petersburg

Zenit comes off its second consecutive season in the Eurocup and its fifth overall. Zenit had a great regular season, in which it won eight of its first nine games to win its group. It was the club’s best-ever start in the Eurocup and despite losing one of its team leaders, big man Kyle Landry, to injury, Zenit did not seem to skip a beat in the Last 32, either. Coach Vasiliy Karasev’s men won their first three games in the next stage and, behind the play of sharpshooter Ryan Toolson, his backcourt partner Zab Dowdell and forward Janis Timma, Zenit secured first place in its Last 32 group, too. However, in the eighthfinals, Zenit missed three important players to injuries and dropped the first leg on the road against fellow Russian side Nizhny Novgorod by 26 points. A 15-point win in the return leg at home was not enough and signaled the end of an otherwise a successful Eurocup campaign.


2015-16 Eurocup 13-5 Eighthfinal
2014-15 Eurocup 8-10 Eighthfinal
2012-13 Eurocup 8-4 Last 16
2009-10 Eurocup 3-3 Regular Season
2007-08 ULEB Cup 9-3 Last 32
TOTAL: 41-25


Zenit became Triumph Lyubertsy's legal successor in the summer of 2014, but was originally known as Dynamo Moscow Region. A relatively young club, Triumph put itself on the map by reaching back-to-back FIBA Europe Cup final fours in 2004 and 2005 and soon became a regular in the Russian playoffs. Triumph won its 2007-08 ULEB Cup regular season group, but was upset by Artland Dragons in the Last 32 round. Triumph reloaded before the start of the 2008-09 season with big-name signings such as Nenad Krstic, Marcus Goree and Alan Anderson, but the team did not survive the Eurocup Qualifying Rounds. Triumph, however, returned to the Russian League playoffs and reached the Russian Cup title game and the EuroChallenge final four. The club was back in the Eurocup in 2009-10, but did not get past the regular season. Triumph reached the Russian League semifinals in 2012 and made it to the 2012-13 Eurocup Last 16 led by Tywain McKee and Sergey Karasev. In its last season as Triumph, the club made it to the EuroChallenge title game and the VTB League quarterfinals. Grissin Bon Reggio Emilia stopped Triumph in the EuroChallenge final and prevented it from winning its first title. In 2014-15, its first in St. Petersburg, Zenit made it to the Eurocup eighthfinals before losing against soon-to-be-champion Khimki Moscow Region. It also ranked fourth at the end of the VTB League regular season, but Nizhny Novgorod ended its hopes in the quarterfinals. Last season, along with success in the Eurocup, Zenit had a great domestic run in the VTB League. It finished the regular season in third place and swept Avtodor Saratov in the quarterfinals to make the semifinals for the first time ever. Zenit came within one win of the finals, but lost the series against Unics Kazan in the maximum five games.