Zenit defeated Avtodor at home, 89-78 (25-25, 28-22, 29-11, 7-20).
Zenit: Evgeny Valiev (14+10 reb), Kyle Landry (12+6 reb), Ryan Toolson (12+5 ast), Demonte Harper (12)
Avtodor: Nick Minnerath (27+8 reb), Josh Adams (20), Sergey Bykov (15)
Both teams featured an attack-first mentality. St. Petersburg did a good job on the fast break, while Avtodor relied on Nick Minnerath and Josh Adams to score the ball. Not surprisingly, the two clubs combined for 100 points in the first half as Zenit picked up a 53-47 lead.
Avtodor hoped to keep the score close in the second half, but the home team had other plans, scoring 14 unanswered points to open the 3rd quarter (67-47). The visitors never recovered, despite limiting St. Petersburg to only seven points in the 4th quarter. With the victory, Vasily Karasev’s club guarantees 2nd place in the standings and home-court advantage through the playoff semifinals.
51 – Zenit pulled down 51 rebounds, tied for 2nd-most in League history.
Zenit head coach Vasily Karasev:
– This was an important game for us to erase any questions about finishing in 2nd place. We didn’t start very well today. The break between games had an impact. We made a lot of stupid mistakes on defense and offense. After the break, our players calmed down and we decided the outcome in six minutes during the 3rd quarter.
Avtodor head coach Vladimir Antsiferov:
– A string of mistakes and some nerves in the 3rd quarter prevented us from playing the way we had at the beginning of the game. We cut into the deficit with hard-nosed defense and some nice shots. We had a decent finish to the game.
Zenit: April 23 at Kalev
Avtodor: April 23 vs. VEF