Credit: TASS Scanpix
Credit TASS Scanpix

Xavi Pascual started his post-game press conference by giving credit to one of the best atmospheres in the EuroLeague. However, he traveled to Kaunas not to enjoy the crowd but to improve the game.

Player of the Game
Jordan  Loyd
Jordan Loyd
Points 19
Accuracy 7-11
Rebounds 0
Assists 1

And they did. Zalgiris fought till the end, but Zenit St. Petersburg managed to secure the win 70-64.

The EuroLeague game in Kaunas drew 10 153 fans, setting a crowd record this season.

"I can't avoid congratulating Zalgiris one more time for this amazing atmosphere we had tonight. It's always a pleasure to be over there," Pascual said after the game.

"This is probably the most beautiful arena in the competition and one of the greatest atmospheres. It's amazing what I feel over there."

Last week Zenit secured a tough win in Kazan 70-69, but this time Pascual was happier with the quality of the game. Especially bouncing back after a frustrating loss against Astana in the VTB League on Monday 69-83.

"In Kazan, we didn't play good in offense, and tonight we were much better. We finished with 18 assists, 9 turnovers, and 10 steals. These numbers are excellent for a team like us. But we weren't effective," the coach said in the post-game press conference. "We had a lot of chances to score, especially under the basket."

"I think we deserved to score like 10 points more, and we could close the game before. But this is basketball. We played serious defense, and this is why we won," Pascual added.

Zenit were 16 of 35 (45.7%) from the two-point territory and 8 of 24 (33.3%) beyond the arc.

"It was great to see fans. We're playing for the fans, but as a team, we had a really, really bad showing in the VTB League, and we just wanted to bounce back, we wanted to fight," Jordan Loyd, the top scorer of Zenit (19 points on 7-for-11 shooting), said after the victory. "Regardless of the outcome, we wanted to show some character, the personality. And we did that tonight."

Both Loyd, Billy Baron, and few other players have to share point guard responsibilities since Shabazz Napier got injured on the eve of the EuroLeague season. Coach Pascual praised his team's effort to cover the hole in the rotation.

"We don't know exactly, but we have to wait at least two more weeks," Pascual commented on possible Napier's return. "It was a serious injury. We want him to recover as soon as possible. But we want him to recover 100%."

Loyd and Baron combined for 30 points in Kaunas. Meanwhile, Mateusz Ponitka dished a team-high six assists. Kulagin played 15 minutes, while Frankamp had 3 points, three assists, and three steals.

"Frankamp opened the game very well. Kulagin helped us also. Some minutes with Baron, some minutes with Loyd, Ponitka. When one player is injured, all the players have to step up and help with other things. All the team reacts very well. This is why we can at least compete in all the games we had," Pascual said.

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Kauno Žalgiris
Sankt Peterburgo Zenit
Field goals

Best players

Janis  Strelnieks
14 PTS
5/7 FG
1/1 FT
Jordan  Loyd
19 PTS
7/11 FG
4/4 FT
Paulius  Jankūnas
Zenit St Petersburg
Few players
Lukas  Lekavičius
6 As
2 TO
22 MIN
Mateusz  Ponitka
6 As
3 TO
26 MIN
Josh  Nebo
14 EFF
60% 2P%
- 3P%
Jordan  Loyd
19 EFF
75% 2P%
33% 3P%