Valencia Basket crushes Zenit and approaches the playoff

Perfect match for Ponsarnau's group on the pitch of the Euroleague revelation team. Kalinic, with a double-double, Dubljevic and Tobey, led the win.


Valencia Basket touched perfection on the track of the Euroleague revelation team this season. The victory by 29 points, in itself, highlights the extraordinary of the victory. Plugging 91 points to a Xavi Pascual team is already something of science fiction, and more to this Zenit. The taronjas reached the top in the third peak (CSKA, Real Madrid and Zenit), added their 14th win and left the playoff zone within reach, just now that the calendar is getting uphill. In addition, they take away the basket-average from Zenit, something very important.

However, playing as in Saint Petersburg, Valencia will qualify for the playoff without depending on possible draws. In the first two quarters they already surpassed the Russian group, although the score was not entirely favorable. In the second half, they gave Xavi Pascual the same medicine. Maybe they arrived tired yes, but they left them at 21 points in the final two quarters. Neither Pangos, nor Baron, nor Gudaitis ... They all ended up bent by the taronja basketball machine.

As like in La Fonteta, the triumph was choral. Of course, three stood out from the rest. Dubljevic finally forgot the consequences of his illness and swept the Russian zone (19 points and 6 rebounds); Mike Tobey, who hit a streak in the fourth quarter that led to the Russian KO (12 points without a miss and four rebounds); and above all, Nikola Kalinic. Player piece. His numbers sometimes don't do justice to the influence he has in each game. Against Zenit yes. He scored a double-double, with 12 points and 10 assists. He is one of the greats of this competition.

Valencia Basket has already started making Xavi Pascual's afternoon bitter. To endorse 22 points to a team of the Catalan coach in each of the first two quarters is something that is not in their script. With Kalinic and Dubljevic doing damage in the low post and a Williams showing his quality, Valencia started taking the first rents. In addition, he drowned Zenit in defense although a couple of mistakes gave Zenit four easy points that loosened the tie for Pascual's. The individualities of Will Thomas and Pangos, first, and Poythress later, kept him in the duel.

Despite the fact that Ponsarnau had taught his team well, Pascual's men took the duel at their own pace at the beginning of the second quarter. Valencia no longer scored so easily despite the fact that a triple by Prepelic and an unlikely basket by Labeyrie put the maximum advantage until then (26-31). But Zenit knew that that way the party would fall from their side. No sooner said than done. A 2-10 run, with Valencia abusing the triple led him to take his only advantages throughout the duel (34-31, min. 16). However, Van Rossom returned to take the duel to where it was best for Valencia. Seven points in a row from the Belgian made Pascual twist his nose again. Dubi took over, subjecting Gudaitis as few have done this year, to the low post. The Montenegrin put the +5 back for the taronja but a Ponitka basket, after an offensive rebound, left him 41-44 at halftime.

That's where Zenit came. And that Valencia missed its first four attacks in the third quarter. A simple blur. It was the Derrick Williams moment. For times like this it was brought to you. Intensity at the back and quality at the front. An alley-oop brand of the house took off to Valencia already definitively (48-60, min. 28) .

A triple entry by Baron in the last act lowered the rent of 10 points and made the Russian public dream that covered the stands of the pavilion. But a technique to the Russian bench was the beginning of the end. The part went to 1-14, with an infallible Tobey and a Kalinic handing out candy (54-76, min. 35). Game over. The thing was not to relax to also win the basket-average. But the Zenit was touched and sunk. The maximum income reaches +30 although in the end it remained at 29.

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