The Zenith took the initiative with his surprising victory in the first match in the Palau but the Russians and the Barça they start again at starting points in St. Petersburg. With the playoff series tied at one, the third game on Wednesday (7:00 p.m., Dazn) is seen as the key for one to see the Cologne Final Four.
The Catalans play their luck in this series and a good part of the season in this afternoon’s duel. The team of Xavi
Paschal He has shown himself capable of competing with the Catalans in the four clashes played this season, but it remains to be seen to what extent his forces hold him.
Barça coach Sarunas Jasikevicius saw his team ready to face the challenge. “The team is really looking forward to it,” he explained. Saras after training Tuesday afternoon in the Russian city. “In the second game we already saw them and you have to control emotions, be focused on the game. We know that we will have to suffer and hopefully things go well for us, “he added.
To the loss of the home court factor due to that initial defeat in the series, the public factor is now added, since it is expected that the Zenith count on the support of some 5,000 fans in your pavilion. Jasikevicius He was not disturbed by it. “We are not used to playing in front of the public but we have many players hardened in these battles and we are prepared,” he said.
Davies, a hero of the victory in the second game, he was even excited to experience this new environment on the courts despite the significance of the moment. “We are excited. We face a rival with an audience and we are prepared. We expected to play against fans for months, we are professionals, “said Davies, the hero of the victory in the second game.
Regardless of whether the Zenith can recover injuredGudaitis Y Ponitka) for these two games, the team plays a style that leads to unexpected wins by setting a slower pace than any team in recent memory of the competition, while ranking first in scoring with little time left on the possession clock. and is third in overall offensive efficiency. By scoring 1.03 points for shot clock possessions in less than four seconds, 62 points on 60 possessions, the Zenith he even surpassed the high standard he had set while leading the league in such situations during the regular season. During that phase the Russian team scored 0.94 points per possession in those situations, leading the league ahead of Zalgiris Y Efes, both with 0.91.
Jasikevicius he is well aware of the damage he does with these situations and continues to think that “everything has to be based on defense.” The Lithuanian coach added: “It is important against them to finish possessions because in the last five seconds of their attacks they are very experienced to take shots. We have committed fouls in these situations and we have given too much ”.
The other key may be to control Pangos Y Thomas who scored a combined 70 points on just 57 possessions, including 28 with the shot clock under 4 seconds.
More than 5,000 spectators are expected
The Zenit of Saint Petersburg put on sale tickets to cover 75% of the capacity of the Sibur Arena. The installation, located next to the Krestovski Stadium and opposite the historic Kotlin enclave, has a capacity for 7,200 spectators, so it is expected that more than 5,000 fans will be present in the stands tonight supporting the local team. It is the first time that Zenit reaches this stage of the competition, which will be a great opportunity to gauge the interest it arouses in the fans of this city, with a great basketball tradition at the end of the 20th century with the historic Spartak of Leningrad. Zenit, the club heir to Dynamo Moscow, is now trying to resume this heritage thanks to the support of Gazprom and with a long-standing sports project.