Zenit leaves Barça shaking

Barça took a beating in Saint Petersburg and Zenit will play their place in the Final Four in the fifth and final quarter-final match, which will be played on Tuesday at the Palau Blaugrana. Unsuccessful in the shot, outmatched in the rebound and reluctant in all facets of the game, the Barça team received one of the greatest corrections in memory since Jasikevicius arrived. Mirotic was once again the image of the very hard setback that equaled the series at two. The Podgorica power forward continued his disappointing journey against Zenit, strangely out of focus, unknown, with the aggravating circumstance that neither the team worked nor was there anyone to take over.

The Barça developed with a lukewarmness and a lack of improper spark in this type of parties. Half life was left in the first gallop (25-13) and repeated after the break. The duel was sentenced long before the end (58-36 in the 29th minute). Zenit, a team that has already amply demonstrated its competitiveness and its excellent tactical and strategic sense, was not going to miss the victory in any way with such a huge advantage. And Barça, despite some tail kick promoted by Calathes and Higgins (63-51 with five minutes to go), was demolished, lost, already thinking of ending the martyrdom as soon as possible and starting to think about the duel in which it will be played. the pass to the Final Four.

Zenit marked the path that the game was going to take with an intensity and a success in its takeoff that left Barça stunned and impotent. Xavi Pascual composed a zone defense with a special vigilance on Brandon Davies. The pivot that was being the bastion of the Barça game, especially in the third game of the series, was seen and wished for them and could only score one point and capture a rebound in the 25 minutes he was on the court. Zenit’s centers, Poythress and Black, marked an overwhelming superiority, with the help of power forward Will Thomas. Zenit captured 38 rebounds, 16 more than Barcelona. The bleeding wreaked havoc on the Catalans. For more laps he gave the team, Jasikevicius could not find the antidote to the punch and the superiority of Zenit. Neither Pau Gasol nor Oriola, with very few minutes, could make amends for Davies. Abrines has lost his gunpowder for a while now and Hanga was hardly seen.

Calathes was one of the few who rebelled against the corrective. He added 19 points and finally gave Kevin Pangos a headache. But the Canadian point guard was once again the conductor of his team and recovered the punch that he did not show in the third game. Pangos, with 22 points and eight assists, was lethal for the defense of the team in which he spent two seasons before being signed by Xavi Pascual.

The mistake in the triples, with only 4 hits of 19 shots (21%), ended up sinking Barça. No rebound, no shot and with two catastrophic phases in defense, in the first and third quarters, the team led by Jasikevicius folded sails. It was difficult for him to even maintain the type in the last section. The Zenit, full of morals, with many players in the vein of successes, undid the equality that had presided over all previous matches as if it were trying to send a message for the decisive duel that they will fight in search of the ticket for the appointment of the best in Cologne at the end of May. He got it. He left Barça shaking, with many duties and the feeling that he will have to improve exponentially to achieve a goal for which he started as a clear favorite.

Zenit Saint Petersburg: Pangos (22), Hollins (11), Fridzon (0), Thomas (4) and Black (11) —the initial quintet—; Zakharov (0), Rivers (7), Baron (7), Khvostov (0), Trushkin (0), Zubkov (0) and Poythress (12).

Barcelona: Calathes (19), Higgins (13), Abrines (0), Mirotic (7) and Davies (1) —initial quintet—; Bolmaro (4), Smits (6), Gasol (0), Oriola (1), Hanga (2), Martínez (0) and Kuric (8).

Partial: 25-13, 11-13, 22-12 and 16-23.

Referees: Pukl, Rocha and Difallah. They pointed out a technique to Smits.

Sibur Arena in Saint Petersburg. 4,626 spectators. 2-2 in the quarter series. On the 4th the fifth and decisive match is played at the Palau Blaugrana.

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