Zenit Russia defeated VEF Latvia on the road, 86-77 (21-20, 26-16, 20-16, 19-25).
VEF: Jabril Durham (15), Steve Zack (14 + 6 reb), Andris Misters (13), Arturs Ausejs (11 + 3 stl)
Zenit: Philip Scrubb (20 + 5 reb), Jalen Reynolds (14 + 9 reb), Evgeny Voronov (13), Anton Pushkhov (10), Brandon Jennings (0 + 10 ast)
Both teams pushed the tempo to begin the game, but with little success on offense. The home team struggled to rebound and knock down shots, while St Petersburg finished with the opening period with 10 turnovers.
The visitors began to pull away, however, near the end of the 2nd quarter. Philip Scrubb poured in 11 points to lead Zenit, who stopped giving the ball away and started scoring in transition. The Russian club led by 11 at halftime, 47-36.
A fast-break finish from Reynolds, Simonovic’s triple and two points from Trushkin helped Zenit open the second half on a 7-0 run. Riga tried to claw back into the game, but never really threatened. The Latvians were outmatched on the glass and never got in a rhythm offensively. Reynolds and Scrubb pushed Zenit’s edge to 23 early in the 4th quarter, before a late spurt from VEF’s bench reduced the deficit to nine, 86-77.
Philip Scrubb sparked Zenit’s onslaught in the 2nd quarter. The guard hit some big shots to give the visitors a comfortable lead and take over the game. He continued scoring in the second half, finishing with a game-high 20 points.
Джален Рейнольс бьет сверху в Риге!@JalenReynolds SLAMS in Riga!
— VTB United League (@VTBUL) October 27, 2018
53 vs. 32 – Zenit’s total domination on the glass was one of the keys to the win.
VEF head coach Janis Gailitis: “We battled Zenit aggressively until the final buzzer. Unfortunately, we couldn’t take advantage of our opportunities, which is simply not acceptable in games against strong opponents. We had some decent stretches on defense, but at the same time we had a lot of difficulty on the other end. In any case, I’m grateful to my players for their effort. Thank you to them for this game.”
Zenit head coach Vasily Karasev: “We’re still having some injury issues. Gal Mekel missed the trip and Sergey Karasev hasn’t completely recovered. Our opponent was pretty physical with Sergey several times. He had a certain level of pain, which is why we decided not to risk anything and kept him on the bench.”