The Real Madrid was imposed on Zenit Saint Petersburg by 79-72 after a great game of chess between his two coaches, Pablo Laso Y Xavi Pascual, which opted for a great third quarter for the Spanish team.
The Russian team arrived in Madrid endorsed by six wins in his six starts as a visitor, but in the capital of Spain he found the last of his shoe.
A zone was Xavi Pascual’s initial bet, while Laso also innovated leaving Alberto Abalde the responsibility of taking the helm of the game, while Jeffery Taylor struggled with the defense over Kevin Pangos and left Edy Tavares on the bench.
The chess game had started between two great coaches who respect and admire each other.
It took Madrid a few minutes to get used to the 2-3 zone, but by getting the ball to the high post and giving a pass to the low post, solved the situation by getting comfortable shots, which did not always enter, 11-7 (min 5.15).
Abalde and Anthony Randolph carried the scoring weightWhile Pangos hardly made any difference and KC Rivers scored two 3-pointers without a miss.
In the second part of the first quarter with the entry of Tavares in Liza and seeing that the surprise was no longer such, Zenit went on to individual defense and Madrid to continue failing easy passes, although at the end of the first ten minutes the advantage was Real Madrid, 24-21.
In the second quarter the two technicians changed the board. The teams tightened on defense and the scoring slowed, for a score, in these ten minutes, low, 12-10.
Pascual’s team lengthened the systems in attack and did not allow the Madrid transitions, while Madrid missed too many comfortable shots, to go to the locker room with a five point advantage, 36-31.
The start in the third quarter was clearly Madridista. Three triples without failure, two by Nico Laprovittola and another by Abalde They catapulted a much more incisive Real Madrid that achieved a partial 8-0 in the first two minutes and 18-3, 54-34, in five and a half minutes.
Zenit went into a state of shock and Madrid perfectly managed the advantages supported by a great defense that left the players of the Russian team without arguments to close the third quarter with the victory almost decanted, 59-42.
Austin Hollins, with two almost consecutive triples and the second with an additional one, tried to hook his team to the game 62-51 (m.32.15), and another from Rivers meant that the advantage fell from ten points, 65-56 (m. 3. 4).
The scoreboard froze again with the timer running in favor of the Spanish team. Abalde again gave confidence to his teammates with his points and Madrid had to keep working until the end to get an important victory 79-72.
79 – Real Madrid (24 + 12 + 23 + 20): Randolph (12), Abalde (16), Deck (2), Taylor (9) and Thompkins (10) -starting team-, Laprovittola (11), Tavares (11), Garuba (2), Causeur, Llull (6) and Rudy.
72 – Zenit St. Petersburg (21 + 10 + 11 + 30): KC Rivers (12), Pangos (12), Thomas (5), Poythress (6) and Ponitka (6) -starting five-, Zakharov (2), Fridzon, Hollins (15), Baron (8), Pushkov (1 ), Zubkov (3) and Gudaitis (2).
Referees: Sasa Pulk (SLO), Milivoje Jovcic (SRB) and Robert Vyklicky (RCH). Alex Poythress was eliminated by five personals (m.33) and Andrey Zubkov, in 40.
Incidents: Match corresponding to the thirteenth day of the regular phase of the Euroleague played at the Palacio de Deportes (WiZink Center) in Madrid behind closed doors.