2019-20Regular SeasonRound 25
February 20, 2020 CET: 18:00
Local time: 20:00 SIBUR ARENA

ALBA rallies to win in St Petersburg

ALBA Berlin rallied from a double-digit second-half deficit on the road to edge Zenit St Petersburg 81-83 on Thursday. The win raised ALBA's record to 9-16 on the season, while Zenit remains with a league-worst 7-18 record despite the debut on the bench of coach Xavi Pascual. Zenit led for the first 35 minutes and by as much as 58-45 midway through the third quarter. But Martin Hermannsson sparked the visitors on a 14-32 run that saw the lead change hands in the fourth quarter, and ALBA never relinquished it. Hermannsson led the visitors with 24 points, 7 assists and 4 rebounds. Rokas Giedratisi finished with 14 points, and Luke Sikma was everywhere, contributing with 10 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists and 4 steals. For Zenit, Will Thomas scored 19 points and Austin Hollins had 15. Gustavo Ayon combined 12 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists, while Tim Abromaitis collected 11 points and 7 rebounds.

Hollins and Abromaitis each had 5 points, including a triple apiece, as Zenit opened an early 12-6 lead. Landry Nnoko gave a quick spark to ALBA's offense, but Zenit's defense allowed only one field goal in the final 5 minutes of the quarter. During that span, Hollins hit another triple and Abromaitis followed with a tip-in, before a last-second three-pointer from Evgeny Voronov made it 25-15 after 10 minutes. Hermannsson got ALBA going early in the second quarter, scoring 8 points on a pair of triples and a long jumper, to get the visitors within 27-25. Vladislav Trushkin snapped the run with a triple, but Giedraitis hit one for the visitors, too. The teams kept trading punches, with Zenit remaining ahead as Thomas and Ayon each scored twice, but ALBA stayed in step, with Giedraitis and Sikma keeping the visitors within 42-38 at halftime. Zenit had the better start to the third quarter, with a pair of baskets from Hollins and a triple from Andrew Albicy extending the lead to 51-40. Tyler Cavanaugh nailed a triple for ALBA, but Zenit kept its offense rolling until Andrey Zubkov's long-range dagger stretched the difference to 58-45. That's when ALBA made its move, however. Hermannsson had a three-point play before Marcus Eriksson and Sikma hit back-to-back shots from the arc to make it 60-56 late in the third. Zenit still held a 64-58 edge going into the fourth quarter, which started with Jonas Mattisseck and Thomas trading three-pointers. Sikma had a triple before Giedraitis and Cavanaugh converted consecutive three-point plays that gave ALBA its first lead, 68-70 with 5 minutes left. Niels Giffey's triple and a pair of baskets from Hermannsson opened that lead to 72-77. Hollins answered with a triple, but ALBA kept its lead and sealed it with Hermannsson finding Sikma for an easy layup at 77-82 with 16 seconds to go.

Hermannsson steps up

Martin Hermannsson had the best game of his rookie EuroLeague season, running the show and scoring ALBA's individual season high with 24 points on 7-for-11 two-point and 2-for-3 three-point shooting. He also dished 7 assists and grabbed a career-high 4 rebounds.

Youngsters help ALBA

In the absence of the likes of Peyton Siva, Makai Mason and Johannes Thiemann, ALBA's young faces got an opportunity, and used it well. Kresimir Nikic, a 20-year old big man, played a solid 12 minutes with 3 points, 2 rebounds and 1 assist, and 18-year old guard Malte Delow did not score but had 1 steal in career-high 7 minutes. Jonas Mattisseck, who just turned 20, played 14 minutes and contributed 5 points, including an important fourth-quarter triple.

Road warriors

This marks a fourth win in last five road games for ALBA. After downing Olympiacos, Crvena Zvezda and Milan, ALBA now also beat Zenit away from home.

Pascual returns

Xavi Pascual made his debut on Zenit's bench and returned to the competition after little more than a year, his last game having on the bench of Panathinaikos OPAP Athens in December 2018. Pascual has 206 career wins and was EuroLeague champion in 2010 with FC Barcelona.

Next up

Both teams will be at home next week in Round 26. Zenit will host another German side, FC Bayern Munich, on Thursday, and the same night ALBA will welcome league leaders Anadolu Efes Istanbul.

Martin Hermannsson - ALBA Berlin - EB19
Thursday, February 20, 2020
Euroleague.net
Referees: JOVCIC, MILIVOJE; VILIUS, GYTIS; FOUFIS, IOANNIS
Attendance: 3726 (Tentative)
By Quarter1234
Zenit St Petersburg25172217
ALBA Berlin15232025
End of Quarter1234
Zenit St Petersburg25426481
ALBA Berlin15385883
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 17:22 8 3/3   2/2 1 3 4 1   2 1   1 3 14
6 ALBICY, ANDREW 24:00 3 0/1 1/1   1 1 2 6 1 2     3 3 9
7 PONKRASHOV, ANTON 8:17 1 0/1   1/2 1 1 2     2       1  
9 HOLLINS, AUSTIN 31:24 15 3/4 3/7   3   3   2 1     3   11
10 THOMAS, WILL 28:43 19 5/6 1/3 6/6 1 3 4 4 1   1   1 7 32
13 KHVOSTOV, DMITRY 14:35   0/1 0/2         3   1     1 1 -1
14 PUSHKOV, ANTON DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
16 TRUSHKIN, VLADISLAV 8:03 3   1/3         1       1     1
18 VORONOV, EVGENY 6:09 4   1/1 1/2           2     1 2 2
20 ZUBKOV, ANDREY 11:17 5 1/4 1/3     1 1 1   2     2   -2
21 ABROMAITIS, TIM 28:34 11 4/6 1/5   1 6 7 2 2 1   1 3 2 13
34 AYON, GUSTAVO 21:36 12 6/9     2 5 7 4   3 1   3 1 16
Team           2 3 5     1         4
Totals 200:00 81 22/35 9/25 10/12 12 23 35 22 6 17 3 2 18 20 99
        62.9% 36% 83.3%
Head coach: PASCUAL, XAVI
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
ALBA Berlin
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
5 GIFFEY, NIELS 14:11 8 2/2 1/3 1/2 1   1       1   4 1 4
6 DELOW, MALTE 6:52                 1       1    
8 ERIKSSON, MARCUS 30:31 5 1/3 1/2     2 2 2 2       1 2 9
9 MATTISSECK, JONAS 14:19 5 1/1 1/3     1 1     1     2 1 2
11 BRENNEKE, LORENZ DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
15 HERMANNSSON, MARTIN 31:18 24 7/11 2/3 4/5   4 4 7   2   1 3 4 27
16 NIKIC, KRESIMIR 12:23 3 1/4   1/2   2 2 1     1   1 1 3
25 OGBE, KENNETH DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
31 GIEDRAITIS, ROKAS 29:42 14 2/5 1/6 7/7 2 1 3 1 1       2 4 13
34 CAVANAUGH, TYLER 13:53 6 1/2 1/2 1/1 1 1 2     1   1 3 3 4
35 NNOKO, LANDRY 20:44 8 4/8   0/2 3 1 4     4   1 1 1 1
43 SIKMA, LUKE 26:07 10 2/4 2/3   3 6 9 4 4 2     2 1 21
Team           1   1     1          
Totals 200:00 83 21/40 9/22 14/19 11 18 29 15 8 11 2 3 20 18 84
        52.5% 40.9% 73.7%
Head coach: GARCIA RENESES, AITO

Head Coaches

PASCUAL, XAVI
Zenit St Petersburg
"First of all, I'm happy to be here with you. We played good in some parts of the game but in the fourth quarter we made 5 turnovers. The mentality was bad today, we just let them win. I think we need to improve our physical and mental conditions; this is the first thing we need to do. We let them run in fastbreaks and didn't run the way we were supposed to, so I think we'll need two or three weeks, and in this time you'll see difference."
GARCIA RENESES, AITO
ALBA Berlin
"Sometimes we played well, but a lot of times we played bad. We did not have a rotation, with a few players who are injured. But in the end, with players who are clever, we managed to beat them. Probably, if Zenit was beating us by few points more it would have been more difficult for us, but when they did not do this, and we started to play better, we got an opportunity to win the game. We have a lot of young players, like Delow or other players, and they are doing well and helping us. We are winning or losing, but competing in every game despite a lot of injuries that we had during the season. It is true that Coach Pascual was with Barcelona when I was there, but he was coaching young players. He began there and he did very well for a lot of years there. I think he will do the same way here, but logically, he needs time to practice with the team and this is difficult in our conditions because of lots of games in the national league and in the EuroLeague. But I am sure they are going to play much better every week."

Players

HERMANNSSON, MARTIN
ALBA Berlin
"I think we just stuck to the game plan. We knew that if we could get stops and we could run, we would have a chance against a really god Zenit team. I am so proud of my team, especially after winning the cup in Germany last Sunday, especially after having a lot of guys injured. But credit to my team, credit to everybody, especially the young guys for stepping up. It was really good. Zenit is a team with a lot of talent. They just switched coaches, so of course it takes a lot of time for the coach to get adjusted to the team. But they have a lot of talent and I think they will be good the rest of the season."
SIKMA, LUKE
ALBA Berlin
"Honestly, it was a pretty ugly for us. We didn't play well in the first half but I was proud how we kind of grinded and stayed in it. Guys were able to make shots, we played a lot better in the second half and we got a huge win. It came down to the stops at the end. The guys kind of scrambled, we were able to seal some rebounds, Niels Giffey had a nice block towards the end. We made enough plays to get a win."