First 'final' for Baskonia

The Vitorian team (15-14) is measured this afternoon (18:00, Dazn) with Zenit at home. The Russian team, eighth, leads them in a win (16-12) so victory is vital.


TD Systems Baskonia plays its first final against Zenit in Saint Petersburg this Friday (18:00, Dazn). "It is a key game and we know what we have to do to get it out," warns Dusko Ivanovic. The acceleration in this final stretch of the course (six wins in seven days) allows the Alava team to dream of getting among the top eight once again: it would be the fifth in a row for a team that has not missed a playoffs since 2015 (the game continues in direct on .

Baskonia does have the accounts, although for this they must win today at Zenit, which occupies the eighth place with one more win than its rival (16-12), but also with one game less (on April 12, the regular season, they will face Panathinaikos, in a postponed match on matchday 6). Pascual's men arrive in a completely different dynamic from Vitoria: six defeats in eight games, but they have a real thermometer. "Pangos leads and scores. The key to Zenit's game is through him," explains Ivanovic. At the base, formerly from Barça, the change of scenery has suited him well. Average 12.9 points (39.9% in triples) and 6.3 assists for a 13.9 PIR.

With five games to play and two teams touching the playoffs (Anadolu Efes and Armani Milan, with 19-10, they could get it this week), eight (Olympiacos have options, but they are somewhat more off the hook with 13-16), they are played the last five squares. Between CSKA, fourth at 18-10, and Zalgiris (11th at 15-14), there are only three victories difference.

For this reason, the average can also be decisive when a team is classified in the top eight. Baskonia, which could have a serious problem in the event of multiple draws, lost in the first round to Zenit by seven (70-77). They have won the average with Madrid (+ 13 / + 20) and lost with Zalgiris (+ 19 / -13), Bayern (-11 / + 7) and Fenerbahçe (+ 18 / -20). It remains to be seen what happens in his confrontation with Valencia (+1 in Vitoria), also involved in that fight to finish in the top eight, and against whom he will close the regular season at La Fonteta.

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