Zenit’s forward, Andrey Koshcheev: “Khimki is the favorite, but Zenit is going to give them a fight”

You can’t envy Andrey Koshcheev. The power forward for «Zenit» has had a great season, but an injury to his achilles heel cut everything short. Now he is walking with a special boot for his foot and watching his team from the side. Correspondents from «Sport den za dnem» interviewed the 27 year old St. Petersburg trained player about how the recovery is coming along and whether St. Petersburg needs one more team. 
Zenit’s  forward, Andrey Koshcheev: “Khimki is the favorite, but Zenit is going to give them a fight”

— According to your own sense, has BC Zenit found their niche in St. Petersburg?
— Look at the number of fans at «Sibur Arena». The last time I saw information about attendance on the VTB United League’s site, we were in first place among all the clubs. For us, the players, that’s really nice. I think that the name Zenit has probably brought some more fans to basketball.

—What do you think about St. Petersburg having two basketball teams?
— I’m all for it. The more basketball there is in a city, the better. We have the second most populated city in the country and there is only one team — seems to me that that’s not enough. For example, in Moscow if you keep in mind the Moscow region they’ve got a few teams in the VTB United League and in the Super League and the First League.

—How long is your contract with «Zenit»?
— it’s for one year. I spent a season and a half at Spartak, prior to our legendary club closing down. Then it became clear that Triumph was moving to St. Petersburg. i had other offers, but I didn’t want to leave my home town again so in August of this past year I became part of «Zenit».

— Let’s talk about something unfortunate. In that ill-fated match in Krasnoyarsk you got injured, what happened?
— In one of the moments during the game I came down on one of the opponent’s legs and knew that I had just been seriously injured. In Krasnoyarsk there wasn’t an immediate chance to do an MRI, so we were hoping that it might not be too bad. After we returned to St. Petersburg it became clear what happened and then we did an operation in Finland to help my achilles heel recover.

— What were your impressions from Zenit’s win in Strasbourg (a win that allowed you to make it to the play-off of the Euro Cup)?
— Unfortunately I could only watch it from the TV, but I was pleasant surprised by the attitude that the guys went out there with, they played really confidently. We completely outplayed the French side (they couldn’t score at all), we played incredibly well on defense. Actually, it was even tougher for us at home — we had to do this through overtime.

—What can you say about Khimki — Zenit’s opponent in the `quarterfinals?
—We know them pretty well. Halfway through the season we’ve already played Khimki three times! We each had one win in the Euro Cup and we lost to them once in the VTB United League. Khimki is probably the favorite, but you can’t say what’s going to happen before we play. We are going to give them a fight. Even with Joffrey Lovernya, they still have a really strong side. But Zenit has picked up Andrey Desyantnikov to help us in the paint. Evgeny Valiev is going to get into good shape soon and Pavel Spridonov has been playing well on defense.