Zenit Streaks To Series Lead

Zenit Streaks To Series Lead

Zenit St. Petersburg defeated Avtodor Saratov at home in Game 1, 91-80 (26-16, 23-19, 23-16, 26-22). 

Top Scorers
Zenit: Sergey Karasev (21), Kyle Kuric (17 + 6 reb), Evgeny Voronov (12 + 6 reb), Shayne Whittington (11)

Avtodor: Coty Clarke (19 + 10 reb), Artem Klimenko (12 + 7 reb), Justin Robinson (11 + 9 reb)

Zenit pulled away down the stretch to pick up a Game 1 victory over Avtodor in St. Petersburg. The visitors sliced a 14-point deficit to four early in the 4th quarter, but never truly threatened as Sergey Karasev and Evgeny Voronov combined for 15 points in the final seven minutes to seal a series-opening win. 

Vasily Karasev’s men dominated in the first half, jumping out to a double-digit lead in the 1st quarter courtesy of balanced scoring and a strong defensive effort. Avtodor entered the evening averaging 87.8 points per game, but only managed to score 35 in the first half as St. Petersburg raced to a 14-point advantage. 

Avtodor turned the tables in the 3rd quarter, limiting Zenit to 33% shooting to pull within seven. Coty Clarke scored six of his team-high 19 points to open the final frame and Avtodor trailed by only five, 75-70, with 6:30 remaining. 

Zenit, however, refused to let the game slip away, knocking down clutch free throws (Karasev went 14-14 at the line on Thursday) and big shots to keep Avtodor at bay.

Game 2 will be played in Saratov on Sunday with 5th-seeded Avtodor looking to even the series. 

43-24 – Zenit’s bench outscored Avtodor’s by 19. St. Petersburg’s superior depth may have been a factor late in the game as the home team was able to finish strong.

No Fear, Pt 1

No Fear, Pt 2

Zenit head coach Vasily Karasev:
– We expected this would be a difficult game mentally and physically, which is what happened. Overall, the players executed the game plan: We were able to stop Avtodor’s fast breaks. We relaxed a bit at the beginning of the 3rd quarter, when we missed open looks and Avtodor was able to run the break and cut the deficit to four points. But then we stabilized the game and took it to its logical conclusion. 

Avtodor head coach Evgeny Pashutin:
– We were soft on defense at the beginning of the game. We allowed Zenit to get comfortable and made a lot of mistakes of our own. Our opponent hit a lot of open shots and ran the fast break. We got back into the game in the 3rd quarter and cut the deficit to four points, but committed two turnovers in the paint and another one while taking the ball out. We lacked focus in those moments. 

Game 2
Sunday, May 27 at 5:00 PM (5:00 MSK) 

Images of the Game

24/05/2018 Zenit-Avtodor 91:80