A gray Barça resists the rocky game of Zenit



A Barça gray, with an immense Adam Hanga in extra time, resisted Zenit’s rocky basketball this Friday at the Palau Blaugrana of Saint Petersbrugo (81-78) and tied the series (1-1) before traveling to Russia.

The azulgrana team drew character to avoid being defeated from the abyss. He lost three (71-74) with 1 minute and 55 seconds to go, when the Magyar guard scored a triple and stole two decisive balls, the last one on the last play of the game. His team, with Brandon Davies (22 points) and Cory Higgins (15) secured the match from free throws (37 hits of 44 attempts).

Xavi Pascual returned to give a defensive lesson. The slow pace of the game blocked Barça in attack, with a very low percentage in shots of two, and unhinged Nikola Mirotic (8 points) and Nick Calathes (3 points and 4 assists), habitual offensive referents of the local team.

In attack, the Barça team did not fuel, but back he was concentrated, what he lacked in the first half of the first game.

Pangos, who finished with 23 points, and Thomas led Zenit in attack to close the first ten minutes with a slight advantage (13-16).

The ghosts reappeared in the first minutes of the second act (15-21) until Jasikevicius brought in Brandon Davies, Leandro Bolmaro and Rolands Smits.

The American dominated the zone, the Argentine tightened the nuts in defense to annoy Pangos and the Latvian scored two triples.

Zenit was quickly charged with fouls and the three players built, together with the claw of Pierre Oriola, a partial of 24-8 to face the second half with a remarkable 38-29 income.

But in the third quarter the slow pace of Zenit He returned to command in the park with a partial of 10-19. In ten minutes, Barça scored one point per minute.

In addition, Zenit transformed the triples that they missed in the first half. Hollins, Rivers and Thomas punished from the perimeter, while Pangos pulled the strings to the despair of Jasikevicius.

Mirotic, closely watched by the Russian defense, hardly appeared in attack. Barça was entrusted to the free throws and the flashes of Higgins to resist before the last quarter with a disadvantage (48-48).

In the last act they commanded the defenses again. Barça were saved because Brandon Davies emerged as the leader under the hoops in the opening bars of the period.

Two minutes to go, the Barça team was in command by six points (65-59). It seemed that he had the game under control but Thomas and Pangos equalized the match again with 39 seconds to go (66-66).

The Canadian point guard had the victory on the last play, but his long distance shot was spit out of the rim (66-66).

The game was decided in extra time. Zenit seemed to have the game under control until the great protagonist of the night, Adam Hanga, appeared in the last two minutes of the game. The defense of the Magyar player will allow Barça to play with a little more faith to pursue the dream of the Final Four.

Data sheet:

81 Barça (13 + 25 + 10 + 18 + 15): Higgins (15), Calathes (3), Abrines (-), Mirotic (8), Oriola (6) -starting five-, Davies (22), Hanga (5), Bolmaro (7), Smits (6), Kuric (9) and Claver (-).

78 Saint Petersburg Zenith (16 + 13 + 19 + 18 + 12): Pangos (23), Rivers (4), Hollins (12), Thomas (17), Black (9) -starting five-, Zakharov (-), Fridzon (-), Baron (7), Khvostov (-), Zubkov (2) and Poythress (4).

Referees: Luigi Lamonica, Damir Javor, Anne Panther. Eliminated: Black (min.43), Calathes (min.45).

Incidents: second game of the Euroleague play-offs played without an audience at Palau Blaugrana.

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