2019-20Regular SeasonRound 21
January 23, 2020 CET: 18:00
Local time: 20:00 SIBUR ARENA

Zenit holds off Olympiacos rally

Zenit St Petersburg protected its home court by holding off Olympiacos Piraeus 91-87 on Thursday night at Sibur Arena. Zenit improved to 7-14 in the standings and Olympiacos dropped to 8-13 for the season. Zenit spent most of the night with the lead, which reached 11 points late in the third and again midway through the fourth quarter. Vassilis Spanoulis led Olympiacos's final charge, but Zenit made big plays down the stretch to hold on. Evgeny Voronov paced the hosts with a season-high 21 points, Gustavo Ayon scored 15 and Will Thomas finished with 10 points. Colton Iverson pulled down a career-high 12 rebounds in a winning effort. EuroLeague scoring king Spanoulis shined for Olympiacos with 31 points, becoming the oldest ever player - at the age of 37 - to score 30 or more points in a single game. Georgios Printezis and Kostas Papanikolaou scored 20 apiece in the loss.

The teams traded baskets early on, scoring with ease. Ayon led Zenit in scoring its first 5 two-point attempts, but Sasha Vezenkov and Spanoulis combined to score 12 points, including a triple apiece, to help Olympiacos to an 11-16 advantage. After Andrey Zubkov sank a corner triple, a second-chance three from Papanikolaou and a runner from Spanoulis made it 16-23. However, Voronov scored 4 points before the end of the first quarter to help get within 24-27. Voronov opened the second with back-to-back triples to put Zenit in front. A pair of baskets from Iverson made it 34-27. A corner three from Printezis snapped a 10-0 run before a transition three-pointer from Spanoulis helped tie it at 40-40. Vladislav Trushkin hit from long range for Zenit to take a 45-43 edge into halftime.

Thomas sparked Zenit into scoring the first 6 points of the second half. Spanoulis scored 5 points for Olympiacos, including a three, but Voronov's three-pointer and followed by a layup-plus-basket from Thomas increased the margin to 57-48. Papanikolaou had a three-pointer and drove baseline for a layup, but Zenit had a put-back from Ayon and a triple from Austin Hollins that pushed the margin into double figures, 64-53. Papanikolaou had another three-pointer late in the third quarter and Printezis scored twice inside early in the fourth. Zenit recorded 3 steals, including 2 by Andrew Albicy that led to easy fastbreak layups and a 73-62 lead. The visitors were not done, however, with Printezis leading the charge and scoring twice more from close range, before trading triples with Anton Ponkrashov. Spanoulis banked a runner to cut the margin to 76-74, but Alex Renfroe's three-point play and Hollins's three-pointer helped recreate a double-digit margin 84-74. Spanoulis scored 8 more points, including 2 three-pointers, but Zenit closed out the game in style.

Finding scoring touch

This was Zenit's seventh win of its debut EuroLeague season, but only the third on its home floor. Zenit, which has not scored more than 81 points in any home game this season, set its club record in points scored with 91.

Rebounding balance

Zenit led 45-43 at halftime despite getting dominated 4-12 on the offensive glass. However, Zenit was the team in control of rebounding in the second half; it grabbed 9 offensive boards in the last two quarters while allowing just 3.

Scoring king falls just short

The EuroLeague all-time scoring leader Vassilis Spanoulis scored 31 points, which was the most he scored in a non-overtime game in his career. It is also second-most in his 322 career games, just 3 points shy of his career-high 34 set in October 2014. Spanoulis shined with 5-for-5 for two-point shooting and 5-for-7 for threes, while dishing 7 assists. The last time Spanoulis scored more than 25 points it was exactly five years ago to this date.

Season- and career-highs

Zenit team captain Evgeny Voronov shined with a season-high 21 points and big man Colton Iverson set his career-high with 12 rebounds. Among the visitors, Kostas Papanikolaou had a season-high 20 points.

Not enough help

Olympiacos only had five players score points. In addition to Spanoulis, Papanikolaou and Georgios Printezis who combined to score 71 points, Nikola Milutinov scored 9 and Sasha Vezenkov 7. Among those five players, only Printezis came off the bench.

Negative PIRs

Olympiacos had four players with negative PIR: Taylor Rochestie (-6), Wade Baldwin IV (-6), Brandon Paul (-6) and Antonios Koniaris (-5). That is the first time in a EuroLeague game ever that at least four players finished with a PIR of -5 or lower. Previously, there were four different teams with three such players in a single game.

Next up

Next week in Round 22 both teams will play on Thursday. Olympiacos will host KIROLBET Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz, while Zenit will travel to visit FC Barcelona.

Evgeny Voronov - Zenit St Petersburg - EB19
Thursday, January 23, 2020
Euroleague.net
Referees: LAMONICA, LUIGI; PEREZ, EMILIO; BAUMANIS, INGUS
Attendance: 4011 (Tentative)
By Quarter1234
Zenit St Petersburg24212125
Olympiacos Piraeus27161529
End of Quarter1234
Zenit St Petersburg24456691
Olympiacos Piraeus27435887
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 27:08 6 3/4   0/1 3 9 12 1 3 1     4 2 17
6 ALBICY, ANDREW 18:14 6 1/3 0/1 4/6   1 1 8 2 2     1 7 16
7 PONKRASHOV, ANTON 6:40 3 0/1 1/2   2   2           1   2
9 HOLLINS, AUSTIN 19:58 8 1/2 2/7   1 1 2   2       1   5
10 THOMAS, WILL 24:23 10 2/2   6/7   2 2 1 2 2       5 17
12 RENFROE, ALEX 23:16 8 2/4 0/4 4/6 1 1 2 6   3     1 4 8
14 PUSHKOV, ANTON 0:08                              
16 TRUSHKIN, VLADISLAV 11:52 5 1/1 1/1   1   1     1 1   1   5
18 VORONOV, EVGENY 19:44 21 3/5 3/4 6/8   1 1 1   2   1 2 5 18
20 ZUBKOV, ANDREY 15:37 7 2/3 1/3   1   1 2     1   2   6
21 ABROMAITIS, TIM 20:19 2 1/3     3 2 5 3         2 1 7
34 AYON, GUSTAVO 12:41 15 7/9   1/1 1 1 2 1       1 4 2 13
Team                                
Totals 200:00 91 23/37 8/22 21/29 13 18 31 23 9 11 2 2 19 26 114
        62.2% 36.4% 72.4%
Head coach: PLAZA, JOAN
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
Olympiacos Piraeus
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
1 ROCHESTIE, TAYLOR 12:41   0/1 0/3         4   2     5 1 -6
2 BALDWIN IV, WADE 18:56   0/4 0/1     1 1 2   1     3   -6
3 PAUL, BRANDON 12:48   0/3 0/3   1 1 2     1   1 1 1 -6
4 CHARALAMPOPOULOS, VASILIS DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
6 KONIARIS, ANTONIOS 11:44   0/1 0/2   1   1 3   2     5 1 -5
7 SPANOULIS, VASSILIS 32:25 31 5/5 5/7 6/9   1 1 7 1 4     3 5 33
11 MILUTINOV, NIKOLA 25:10 9 4/6   1/2 4 1 5 1   1 2 1 1 5 16
14 VEZENKOV, SASHA 14:14 7 2/3 1/3   1 1 2 1 1       2   6
15 PRINTEZIS, GEORGIOS 25:46 20 7/9 2/3   1 6 7   1       3 2 24
16 PAPANIKOLAOU, KOSTAS 31:26 20 2/3 4/7 4/4 1 4 5 3 2 1     2 3 26
21 RUBIT, AUGUSTINE 14:50   0/1     2 1 3 1 2       1 1 5
Team           4 2 6     1         5
Totals 200:00 87 20/36 12/29 11/15 15 18 33 22 7 13 2 2 26 19 92
        55.6% 41.4% 73.3%
Head coach: BARTZOKAS, GEORGIOS

Head Coaches

PLAZA, JOAN
Zenit St Petersburg
"We deserved this victory today. We suffered a lot, especially in the first half when we let them grab a lot of offensive rebounds. They got just 3 of them in the second half and it means we did a great job. We could have won earlier, but every time we needed to break them, we either made a turnover or made a difficult shot. Anyway, if you look at the stats you will see that they have just five players [who scored] and we have almost everybody except for Pushkov, who spent on court 8 seconds."
BARTZOKAS, GEORGIOS
Olympiacos Piraeus
"We needed a better offensive and defensive game to beat Zenit today. We needed more players to contribute defensively and offensively. I think the main problem was in the third quarter we missed all the 50-50 balls, balls we needed to get in rebounding and I think these kinds of possessions created the game. Zenit found confidence from second chances. The other thing, in my opinion, whenever we were close, in a tight game, we turned the ball over. When we came back and we were 2 points down. It is not that we did not score, but we turned the ball over and gave an opportunity to our opponent to score in transition. To win on the road you need to stay in the game plan and find players who are in good shape, and we did not have that today."

Players

IVERSON, COLTON
Zenit St Petersburg
"We knew rebounding was going to be important if we wanted to win tonight. But most importantly, I thought we just made big plays, kept the lead in the fourth quarter when they tried to come back. We made the big plays and got the win. Voronov had a very good game, he shot unbelievable. He has been giving unbelievable effort the last couple of weeks, and we needed that."
THOMAS, WILL
Zenit St Petersburg
"Our defensive rebounds were the key. Colton Iverson really helped us on the boards. He had a great game rebounding and we were able to run because of it. We are getting better, getting used to playing with each other. We've been working hard this season to get to this point."