2019-20Regular SeasonRound 2
October 11, 2019 CET: 19:00
Local time: 20:00 SIBUR ARENA

Kuric punishes former team as Barca stays perfect

FC Barcelona stayed perfect by gaining its second consecutive road win with an initially hard-fought but eventually comprehensive 63-87 victory at Zenit St Petersburg. The game was closely contested for the majority of the contest until Barca’s defense took over in the latter stages, allowing just 7 fourth quarter points and leaving Joan Plaza’s team still looking for its first victory of the season. Former Zenit star Kyle Kuric was the game’s standout performer, netting 24 points on perfect 4-of-4 three-point shooting, while Nikola Mirotic was a powerful presence inside with a double-double of 17 points and 10 rebounds. Victor Claver scored 12 points and Brandon Davies added 10 points and a career-high 6 assists. Evgeny Voronov paced Zenit with 10 points, and Colton Iverson came close to a double-double with 9 points and 8 rebounds.

Voronov’s corner three and Andrew Albicy’s steal and score gave Zenit an early edge, but a pair of hook shots from Ante Tomic helped send Barca ahead. The lead continued to swap hands as Voronov and Claver both drained triples, before a long two from Austin Hollins fixed the score at 20-19 at the end of the first. More lead changes came through Anton Ponkrashov’s deep strike and a three-point play by Davies, before Alex Abrines struck from long-range to make it 23-27. Barca’s teen debutant Leandro Bolmaro scored his first points from the foul line to complete a 0-8 run, but three-pointers from Vladislav Trushkin and Alex Renfroe helped Zenit respond. 7 fast points from Kuric kept Barca ahead, but Iverson’s dunk and Trushkin’s triple kept Zenit in touch. Kuric and Tim Abroimaitis traded triples, and Malcolm Delaney’s free throws made it 40-43 at the break. Both offenses were slow to start the second half, with only 6 points scored in the first 5 minutes of the third. A triple from Davies gave Barca some daylight, but a fastbreak score and a layup from Abromaitis made it 51-50 to Zenit. Bolmaro’s three-point play and a Kuric layup restored the visiting team’s lead, and it was 56-59 at the end of the third. Davies and Kuric extended the margin early in the fourth as Zenit went scoreless for nearly 3 minutes, and the visiting defense continued to dominate as the lead slow grew with free throws. Nikola Mirotic’s baseline drive made it 59-70, and he then hit back-to-back triples to put the game beyond a fast-fading Zenit as Barca piled on the points in the latter stages.

Close battle…for three quarters

Although Barcelona was a comfortable winner in the end, for the first three quarters this was an extremely close game marked by several lead changes and meagre margins. Barca briefly moved into a 6-point lead in the second quarter but otherwise there was little daylight between the teams, with leads of 3 points or less holding sway for 24 of the first 30 minutes.

Kuric excels on return to St Petersburg

After shining for Zenit in the 2017/18 season, Kyle Kuric came back to haunt his former team on Friday night. The shooting star was the game’s highest scorer with a joint-career high 24 points, making 4-of-4 three-point attempts, and he also added 3 rebounds and 3 assists.

Teen Bolmaro makes Barca debut

Barcelona were short-handed in the backcourt with Thomas Heurtel, Cory Higgins, Kevin Pangos and Pau Ribas all missing. So when Malcolm Delaney limped off the court in the first quarter, Leondro Bolmaro came on to make his EuroLeague debut. The Argentina youth international alternated with Delaney throughout and totalled 17 energetic minutes, recording the first basket, rebound, assist and steal of his EuroLeague career.

Next round

Barcelona will play its first home game of the season with a visit from ALBA Berlin next Friday, while Zenit will go in seek of its first win on the road against Olympiacos Piraeus.

Kyle Kuric - FC Barcelona - EB19
Friday, October 11, 2019
Euroleague.net
Referees: CHRISTODOULOU, CHRISTOS; ROCHA, FERNANDO; VOJINOVIC, MILIJA
Attendance: 6758 (Tentative)
By Quarter1234
Zenit St Petersburg2020167
FC Barcelona19241628
End of Quarter1234
Zenit St Petersburg20405663
FC Barcelona19435987
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 23:41 9 3/7   3/4 4 4 8 5   3     3 4 15
6 ALBICY, ANDREW 17:39 6 1/3 0/1 4/6 1 1 2 4 2 2 1   1 6 13
7 PONKRASHOV, ANTON 11:55 3   1/3     2 2 2 1 1     2 1 4
9 HOLLINS, AUSTIN JAMES 20:44 4 2/2 0/1   1 3 4 1   1     3 1 5
10 THOMAS, WILL 21:52 9 3/5 1/5   3 1 4           1 2 8
11 BALASHOV, SERGEI 6:05                         2   -2
12 RENFROE, ALEX 22:21 5 1/3 1/2   1   1 4 1 4 1       5
15 SHEVCHUK, KONSTANTIN DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
16 TRUSHKIN, VLADISLAV 13:18 6   2/4   1 2 3               7
18 VORONOV, EVGENY 23:40 10 1/3 2/7 2/2   2 2 1 3 3     3 3 6
21 ABROMAITIS, TIM 23:02 9 2/4 1/3 2/2 1 4 5 1   2     3 1 7
25 PONITKA, MATEUSZ 15:43 2 0/1   2/2   1 1 2       1 1 2 4
Team             1 1     2         -1
Totals 200:00 63 13/28 8/26 13/16 12 21 33 20 7 18 2 1 19 20 71
        46.4% 30.8% 81.3%
Head coach: PLAZA, JOAN
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
FC Barcelona
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
0 DAVIES, BRANDON 22:49 10 3/8 1/1 1/1   4 4 6   1     2 3 15
8 HANGA, ADAM 17:29           2 2 1         4 1  
10 SMITS, ROLANDS 1:15 3   1/1   1   1 1             5
14 PUSTOVYI, ARTEM DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
18 ORIOLA, PIERRE 12:02 4 1/1   2/2 1   1 2         1 1 7
21 ABRINES, ALEX 4:17 3   1/1                   2   1
23 DELANEY, MALCOLM 16:57 5 1/4 0/2 3/4       2 2 4   1 2 3 -1
24 KURIC, KYLE 29:41 24 5/10 4/4 2/3 3   3 3         2 4 26
30 CLAVER, VICTOR 34:04 12 2/5 2/4 2/2   4 4 3 1   1   1 1 16
31 BOLMARO, LEANDRO 17:32 5 1/5 0/1 3/3   1 1 1 2 1   1 4 3 1
33 MIROTIC, NIKOLA 27:58 17 5/8 1/6 4/4 5 5 10   1 2       3 21
44 TOMIC, ANTE 15:56 4 2/4       3 3 1   1     2   3
Team           3 2 5               5
Totals 200:00 87 20/45 10/20 17/19 13 21 34 20 6 9 1 2 20 19 99
        44.4% 50% 89.5%
Head coach: PESIC, SVETISLAV

Head Coaches

PLAZA, JOAN
Zenit St Petersburg
“Congratulations to Barcelona, they deserved the win more than us. We were able to compete with Barca for three quarters but we fell dramatically in the last one. We made 9 turnovers more than our opponent and that means that Barcelona had 9 offences more than us. When you play against a team like this, you have to be strong enough to stand your ground when your opponent is making so many good shots. Thanks to our fans for coming to support us.”
PESIC, SVETISLAV
FC Barcelona

“Today we saw in the last five minutes of the second quarter that if you give a little bit a free game for an opponent like Zenit, it’s difficult to control the rhythm of the game. If you call an agent the first thing you hear is about the offensive talents of his players. No agent will tell you that he has an excellent defensive player. It means that our job as coaches is to convince players that defence is also important. We’re in a process now. One more time we fought, in the right moments we found good rhythm in defence, we took responsibilities individually, and that allowed us to control our destiny.”

“In my team, it’s not possible to play basketball without defense. We have many new players and we want to improve our continuity on defense, it needs time. We worked hard and the players understand how important it is to play defense.”

Players

MIROTIC, NIKOLA
FC Barcelona
“Not bad. It always could be better, but we won a difficult game by 20, especially playing like that in the fourth. We are working in the right direction, we knew it would be hard but we did well. For me, I need a little time to adjust even if the team is playing well, I know I can do better but I’m working on it. I’m in the perfect place in Barcelona for me to demonstrate my qualities. I just want to play my game, I know it can be better than this but for me it’s all about winning.”
KURIC, KYLE
FC Barcelona
“We just played together. We played tough defense, shared the ball, started rebounding, started getting stops, got more relaxed and let the game come to us. We’re getting there but we’re still a new team so we’re learning to play together. It was only our second EuroLeague game so it’s still early. We will get healthy and play better.”
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