2019-20Regular SeasonRound 3
October 18, 2019 CET: 20:30
Local time: 21:30 PEACE AND FRIENDSHIP STADIUM

Zenit records historic OT win in Piraeus

Zenit St Petersburg rallied from a slow start to register its first win ever in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague, 68-77 in overtime against host Olympiacos Piraeus on Friday. Both teams now have 2-1 records. Olympiacos raced to a 12-0 start, but by the end of the first quarter, Zenit was ahead and held leads throughout the second half. Olympiacos, down 58-64 with 48 seconds left in the fourth quarter, used triples by Kevin Punter and Kostas Papanikolaou to force overtime. Zenit didn’t panic, and a 1-6 run right after the break was good enough to prevent Olympiacos from coming back again. Mateusz Ponitka led the way for Zenit with 18 points and 5 rebounds, and a key role in overtime. Alex Renfroe and Gustavo Ayon added 10 points each for the winners. Kevin Punter scored 16 for the Reds, and Nikola Milutinov recorded a monster double-double of 16 points and 16 rebounds in a losing effort.

Milutinov , Vassilis Spanoulis and Georgios Printezis rocketed Olympiacos to a 10-0 start, to which Brandon Paul tacked on a fastbreak dunk. Tim Abromaitis got Zenit back to within 12-6 with 4 points. Even after Olympiacos rebuilt the margin to 17-8, the visitors kept going until back-to-back triples by Will Thomas and Austin Hollins made it 17-14. A sweet 10-meter, buzzer-beater by Vladimir Thruskin gave Zenit its first lead to end the first quarter 19-20. Zenit's three-point festival continued with Hollins and Alex Renfroe downing one each to make it 21-26 early in the second quarter. Punter rescued Olympiacos with 6 quick points to which Spanoulis added 4 free throws and an assist to Milutinov for a 10-0 run to a new 31-26 advantage for the hosts. By the time Paul hit the home team's first triple after 11 misses, however, Zenit had climbed back, with Andrew Albicy forging a tie before Abromaitis stole and finished a fastbreak that put the visitors ahead 36-38 at halftime. Zenit went inside to Ayon and Thomas after the break to increase the margin to 38-44. The Reds looked stunned, especially when they turned the ball over right after a timeout and gave up 4 points in a row to Ponitka for a double-digit Zenit edge, 38-48, after 25 minutes. Punter and Milutinov didn't panic, though, combining for a 6-0 run that gave some breath to the home team. Renfroe hit from downtown and Colton Iverson scored a contested layup to keep a safe margin for Zenit, 47-53, after 30 minutes. Punter opened the fourth for Olympiacos with a long-waited triple, but otherwise both teams struggled to score. Finally, Renfroe and Iverson pushed Zenit ahead 50-57 after 34 minutes. Antonios Korianis nailed back-to-back threes to bring Olympiacos within 56-59, while Punter joined him from the free throw line to reduce the gap even further. Hollins quickly replied with another three, Ponitka added another basket for a 58-64 Zenit lead to going into the final minute. Punter nailed one triple for the hosts before Papanikolaou sent the game to overtime from long range. Even though Papanikolaou scored the first point in overtime, the joy didn't last long for Olympiacos. Thomas scored twice from the line, Ponitka beat the shot clock and Ayon joined later to cap a 0-6 run for a 65-70 edge. Ponitka, with a three-point play and a monster block on the following defense, showed up big in clutch time to seal the outcome, 68-77, for the Russians.

First win ever

Zenit registered its first-ever Euroleague win in a magic night. The visitors' head coach, Joan Plaza, got his second victory in nine tries there.

Cursed and blessed

Olympiacos had a terrible shooting night, missing its first 11 three-point attempts and hitting just 6 of 30 by game's end. But the Reds managed to send the game to overtime with triples by Punter and Papanikolaou in the last 48 seconds of the fourth quarter.

They needed 5 more minutes

Zenit had been unable to score more than 65 points in its previous two games, which they lost. The Russians couldn’t reach that mark tonight at the end of the regulation, either, but they excelled in overtime, posting 13 points in 5 minutes to surpass their limit and grab the win.

The hero

Mateusz Ponitka had scored just 9 points in two games in his first EuroLeague action since 2016. He doubled that mark tonight, posting 18 points – including 5 in the extra period – and registered a monster block on Kevin Punter that decided the game.

Next game

In Round 4, Zenit will face another Greek team, but this time at home, as hosts of Panathinaikos OPAP Athens on Thursday. Olympiacos will travel to Spain to visit KIROLBET Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz on Friday.

Tim Abromaitis - Zenit St Petersburg - EB19
Friday, October 18, 2019
Euroleague.net
Referees: BELOSEVIC, ILIJA; KOLJENSIC, MILOS ; SILVA, SERGIO
Attendance: 7163 (Tentative)
By Quarter1234Extra 1
Olympiacos Piraeus191711174
Zenit St Petersburg2018151113
End of Quarter1234Extra 1
Olympiacos Piraeus1936476468
Zenit St Petersburg2038536477
Olympiacos Piraeus
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
0 PUNTER, KEVIN XAVIER 30:07 16 3/9 2/12 4/4   4 4   1 2   2 3 5 3
2 BALDWIN IV, WADE 10:48 1 0/2 0/1 1/2 2 1 3     1       2 1
3 PAUL, BRANDON 13:31 5 1/1 1/4     2 2 1 1 1     2 1 4
6 KONIARIS, ANTONIOS 19:08 6   2/4     2 2 3   1     4   4
7 SPANOULIS, VASSILIS 26:04 7 1/4 0/4 5/6       6 1 5     1 5 5
10 CHERRY, WILL 4:18   0/2       1 1 1         2   -2
11 MILUTINOV, NIKOLA 34:39 16 7/9   2/2 8 8 16     2 1   2 3 30
15 PRINTEZIS, GEORGIOS 33:09 7 3/6 0/1 1/2 1 3 4 1 1   1   2 3 10
16 PAPANIKOLAOU, KOSTAS 31:04 6 1/1 1/3 1/2 1 5 6 1 1 2     2 1 8
19 KUZMINSKAS, MINDAUGAS 11:51   0/1 0/1 0/2 1 1 2   1       2 1 -2
21 RUBIT, AUGUSTINE 10:21 4 2/2     2   2     2     3 1 2
22 HAPP, ETHAN DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Team           1 1 2               2
Totals 225:00 68 18/37 6/30 14/20 16 28 44 13 6 16 2 2 23 22 65
        48.6% 20% 70%
Head coach: KEMZURA, KESTUTIS
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
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 19:49 6 3/4     2 3 5 2   2     1 1 10
6 ALBICY, ANDREW 14:04 2 0/2 0/1 2/2   1 1   1         1 2
7 PONKRASHOV, ANTON DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
9 HOLLINS, AUSTIN JAMES 23:04 9 0/1 3/5     2 2 2 1   1   4 2 10
10 THOMAS, WILL 34:24 9 2/4 1/2 2/3 1 4 5 1 2 1     1 3 14
12 RENFROE, ALEX 21:52 10 1/4 2/3 2/2   1 1 3 2 3   1 3 1 6
13 KHVOSTOV, DMITRY 10:27 4 2/4 0/2         1 1 1     2 1  
16 TRUSHKIN, VLADISLAV 12:54 3 0/1 1/2   1   1     1     1    
18 VORONOV, EVGENY 21:20   0/5 0/1   1 1 2 1   1     3 2 -5
21 ABROMAITIS, TIM 15:48 6 2/5 0/1 2/2 1 6 7         1 2 2 8
25 PONITKA, MATEUSZ 28:29 18 7/10 0/1 4/6 1 4 5 1 1 1 1   2 7 24
34 AYON, GUSTAVO 22:49 10 5/11     4 6 10 3 2 4     3 3 15
Team           1 1 2               2
Totals 225:00 77 22/51 7/18 12/15 12 29 41 14 10 14 2 2 22 23 86
        43.1% 38.9% 80%
Head coach: PLAZA, JOAN

Head Coaches

KEMZURA, KESTUTIS
Olympiacos Piraeus
"We started well, we were good with a 12-0 run, but problems started with the substitutions. We lost control of the game, we lost momentum and let them score some threes that allowed them to get back to the game. They finished the first quarter up by one and we didn't get the right flow in the following periods. We had a lot of problems to be able to take control, to run our offense as we wanted, and were not playing with the right angles, with the right timing. We didn't move the ball well, our offense was too static in some moments. I think we improved defensively in the second half, but we let them hurt us with some offensive rebounding and from the baseline. We were able to tie the game to go to overtime with two threes but we couldn't go further in overtime. We couldn't do more to win the game. We missed small things, we turned the ball over too many times, and that way it's quite difficult to win a game."
PLAZA, JOAN
Zenit St Petersburg
"It's a great honor to get this win against Olympiacos, a great team. It's true that we did pretty good things against Barcelona and even against Berlin, but we didn't put together a complete game like today. We were out of the game early, we came back to it soon and competed until the end. I feel proud of the players. We're still at the point that we need to know each other better. We have 11 new players on this team. It's true that we have some rules, but very little time playing together, so we are suffering to understand our spacing. We need to create for our powerful big guys inside. Gustavo Ayon and Will Thomas are really good passers inside. If we are provoking that, we can play a little better, but if we just dribble, dribble, it's where we suffer the most."

Players

PONITKA, MATEUSZ
Zenit St Petersburg
"I'm really happy that our team has won the first EuroLeague game in its history. It's a great feeling. We came here ready to fight. We knew we are a good team, with good guys on the team. It was just a matter of time. We respect Olympiacos. We know they're a historical team and this is a historical gym. You could see that today. But we are happy. It's always nice to go back home with a win."
THOMAS, WILL
Zenit St Petersburg
"It feels great, for the organization, their first year in the EuroLeague, and to get our first win is great. And also against such a historical organization like Olympiacos, to win against them in their building is great. We wanted to get our first win. We were preparing all preseason to win in the EuroLeague and we finally got one."
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