2020-21Regular SeasonRound 27
March 02, 2021 CET: 18:00
Local time: 20:00 SIBUR ARENA

Zenit rallies past ALBA

Zenit St Petersburg rallied from a double-digit second-half deficit to down ALBA Berlin 87-71 at Sibur Arena on Tuesday. Zenit improved to 16-10 in the standings while ALBA dropped to 9-18. Kevin Pangos led the winners with 19 points, Will Thomas added 15, Mateusz Ponitka 14, Austin Hollins 13 and Alex Poythress scored 11 for Zenit. Luke Sikma paced ALBA with 18 points, Simone Fontechio netted 12, Ben Lammers 11 and Maodo Lo 10 for the visitors, who led 43-48 at halftime and extended their margin to 53-64 late in the third quarter. Poythress and Billy Baron helped Zenit take a 68-67 lead after 30 minutes. Austin Hollins scored 8 points in a 10-0 run that sealed the outcome, 82-69, as ALBA never recovered.

Poythress got Zenit going with a layup, but Lo and Fontecchio quickly gave ALBA a 2-5 lead. Hollins hit a jumper and Ponitka dunked for a 6-5 Zenit edge. Lammers downed a couple of jumpers and a dunk and Lo added a driving layup to give ALBA a 10-13 lead. Thomas and Pangos each struck from downtown and Poythress dunked in traffic for an 18-16 Zenit lead. Marcus Eriksson and Fontecchio combined for all the points in a 0-7 ALBA run, but Thomas dunked and Pangos buried a three-pointer to bring Zenit within 23-24 after 10 minutes. Eriksson hit a jumper early in the second quarter and Sikma followed a jump hook with a layup for a 23-30 ALBA lead. Pangos, Sikma and Andrey Zubkov each struck from beyond the arc before Ponitka banked in a circus shot for a 31-33 score. Lammers and Jonas Mattisseck joined the three-point shootout in an 0-8 run that boosted the guests' lead to 31-41. Thomas scored twice down low and Ponitka added a layup-plus-foul to get Zenit within 40-45. Fontecchio and Pangos exchanged triples to fix the halftime score at 43-48.

Pangos scored in penetration soon after the break and Baron improved on Lo's floater with a three-pointer. Sikma buried a couple of fallaway jumpers and Lammers added a jump hook to give ALBA fresh air at 50-58. Johannes Thiemann, Pangos, Sikma and Ponitka each struck from downtown and Thomas added a layup for a 58-64 score. Baron downed a triple and Poythress followed a three-point play with a huge alley-oop dunk that completed Zenit's comeback, 66-64. Eriksson buried a three-pointer, but Poythress kept the hosts ahead, 68-67, after 30 minutes. Tarik Black took over with a reverse layup and a jump hook early in the fourth quarter. Sikma scored again, but Hollins hit a jumper and a couple of triples in a 10-0 run that broke the game open, 82-69, with 4 minutes left and Zenit remains in control until the final buzzer.

Pivotal performer

Kevin Pangos dictated the game tempo in the second half and was a scoring threat all game long. He finished the game with 19 points on 5-of-10 three-point shooting plus 4 rebounds, 7 assists, just 1 turnover and 4 fouls drawn for a game-high PIR of 26.

Game-changing moment

ALBA led 53-64 late in the third quarter, but Zenit did not panic. Mateusz Ponitka and Billy Baron each struck from beyond the arc in a 13-0 run in which Alex Poythress added a three-point play and an alley-oop slam. Zenit took the lead, 66-64, and went on to dominate the game.

Stellar stat

ALBA hit 10 of 17 two-pointers (58.8%) and 7 of 15 shots from downtown (46.7%) before the break, tallying 14 assists and 6 turnovers. After halftime, Zenit's defense forced ALBA into 5-of-16 two-point shooting (31.3%), 3-of-12 on three-pointers (25%) with just 4 assists and 8 turnovers.

Did you know?

Will Thomas set a new career-high by collecting 4 steals against ALBA. He had previously recorded 3 steals twice - with Valencia Basket against Zalgiris Kaunas on December 21, 2017, and with Unicaja Malaga against Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar on March 31, 2016.

Next game

Both teams return to action later on this week. Zenit hosts Real Madrid on Thursday, March 4. Rivers, who won the EuroLeague with Real in 2015, faces his former team. ALBA visits Khimki Moscow Region the next evening.

Kevin Pangos - Zenit St Petersburg - EB20
Tuesday, March 2, 2021
Euroleague.net
Referees: LATISEVS, OLEGS; OBRKNEZEVIC, UROS ; RADOJKOVIC, JOSIP
Attendance: 2394 (Tentative)
By Quarter1234
Zenit St Petersburg23202519
ALBA Berlin2424194
End of Quarter1234
Zenit St Petersburg23436887
ALBA Berlin24486771
Zenit St Petersburg
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
3 ZAKHAROV, DENIS 2:05                   1         -1
4 PANGOS, KEVIN 32:52 19 1/2 5/10 2/2   4 4 7   1     1 4 26
7 FRIDZON, VITALY 8:26     0/1     2 2 1   3     1   -2
9 HOLLINS, AUSTIN 23:57 13 2/3 3/6     1 1 3 1 2     2   10
10 THOMAS, WILL 28:11 15 6/7 1/3   1 5 6 1 4     1   1 23
12 BARON, BILLY 15:42 6 0/1 2/3         2   1     3 1 3
13 KHVOSTOV, DMITRY 5:03               2         1 1 2
14 PUSHKOV, ANTON DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
20 ZUBKOV, ANDREY 14:41 5 1/4 1/1   1 1 2   1 2     3    
22 POYTHRESS, ALEX 24:03 11 5/9   1/1 1 6 7 2   2   3 2 2 11
25 PONITKA, MATEUSZ 31:55 14 4/5 1/1 3/3 1 3 4 6   2 1   3 4 23
28 BLACK, TARIK 13:05 4 2/3       2 2   1   2   1   7
Team           2   2               2
Totals 200:00 87 21/34 13/25 6/6 6 24 30 24 7 14 3 4 17 13 104
        61.8% 52% 100%
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
0 LO, MAODO 26:09 10 3/6 0/3 4/4       1 2 3   1 1 5 7
3 SIVA, PEYTON 17:25   0/1 0/4   2 1 3 5 2 1   1   2 5
5 GIFFEY, NIELS 11:30 2 0/1 0/2 2/2   2 2 1         1 3 4
6 DELOW, MALTE 8:23   0/1           1 1       2   -1
8 ERIKSSON, MARCUS 17:49 9 3/4 1/3     1 1   2 1     1 1 8
9 MATTISSECK, JONAS 18:31 3 0/1 1/1   1 1 2   1 1     2   2
10 SCHNEIDER, TIM 10:34   0/2 0/1   1   1 1       1 1   -3
16 NIKIC, KRESIMIR DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
20 FONTECCHIO, SIMONE 26:53 12 0/4 4/5     5 5 4         2   14
32 THIEMANN, JOHANNES 13:04 6 0/1 1/2 3/4       2         2 3 6
43 SIKMA, LUKE 26:20 18 5/8 2/5 2/2 2 4 6 2   6 2     2 18
50 LAMMERS, BEN 23:22 11 4/4 1/1   4 2 6 1 2 2 2   1 1 20
Team             3 3               3
Totals 200:00 71 15/33 10/27 11/12 10 19 29 18 10 14 4 3 13 17 83
        45.5% 37% 91.7%
Head coach: GARCIA RENESES, AITO

Head Coaches

PASCUAL, XAVI
Zenit St Petersburg
"First of all, I think we have to be happy for tonight's game. It was one game in which our opponent played excellent basketball, scoring everything for almost 25 minutes, against good defense, against not-so-good defense, but they were extremely effective. They punished all the situations and also they scored on the first seconds but also on the last seconds of any possession. We knew from the beginning that the game could be like this. We had in our mind to be strong mentally and go step by step; we were waiting for our moment. Step by step, we were waiting for our moment to change the way of the game. Through defense, we improved our game and finally in the last quarter we played better defense, better offense, and we closed this important game for us. Tarik Black had only been four days with us, but has helped the team, especially in the second half, helping us very much on defense and offense. Of course, he needs time to be ready because he didn't play in the last year, but he is one player that can help us and he showed today that he is ready to help, with good mentality, a fighter. We are very happy that he is finally with us."
GARCIA RENESES, AITO
ALBA Berlin
"We played well for 25 minutes and bad for 15 minutes. We must accept it and not think about this game. The games are coming inmediately. We play in Moscow on Friday, and again on the road on Sunday, in Germany. We have to think about the future, not about the game today."

Players

PANGOS, KEVIN
Zenit St Petersburg
"I think it was a good game for us. We responded in the second half. I think that is a great team that we played, well-disciplined. They played together, but our team bounced back in the second half, and to show effort and fight the way we did, I think it is great. I think that when we play with energy, sticking to our game plan, I think we are a tough team to beat. Tarik [Black] came in and gave great minutes. For a new player, trying to learn the sets and everything, was huge. I am just happy for our guys. It was a great response in the second half."
THOMAS, WILL
Zenit St Petersburg
"Our defense [was the main factor]. We stepped up in the second half, were able to get steals, get defensive stops and score on the other end. There are a lot of teams bunched up between fifth and 11th and every team wants the playoffs spot, so every game is going to be like a championship, you have to stay focused and try to get as many wins as possible."