—It was a tough game that we gave away ourselves. At first our attack wasn’t coming together — we were shooting at 30% and 33% three points. We had a lot of ill-advised shots, made a lot of mistakes around the rim. In the second half we were able to break into their lead thanks to our defense, but what happened at the end can only be attributed to inexperience. We just gave the game away.
—In the second half Zenit was playing better with Vikhrov. What plan did you give him?
—Artem was injured and he couldn’t play the whole match. I just reminded the guys that this is a playoff match and pointed out just how hard Nizhny was playing. I said that you can’t give them any space and that of course we have to score points.
—The head coach for Nizhny Novgorod said that you can always take some positives away even in a loss. Can you take any positives away from this match?
—There is a positive first and foremost for our young players. Even in some stressful endings — it doesn’t matter if you win or if you lose, they are always good for young players. Next time there won’t be those kind of mistakes. I would like to say that we had a good game on defense at the end of the match, but we were giving up rebounds, it’s tough to explain why. The guys were probably just a bit tired.
—Bagatskis said that the series is not going to return to St. Petersburg. Do you also think that everything is going to be decided in four games?
—We are going to play. Nothing is clear yet. We are going to win at least one game for sure.
—It seemed that Zenit didn’t have enough strength in overtime.
—Of course, Nizhny is a more experienced team. They didn’t just happen to be in the top-16 of the Euroleague. This play-off is going to show what level the guys can play at. We didn’t want to play with a really heavy rotation since not everyone is currently ready to be at that level. We are going to have to rely and play from our defense. Nizhny has put together some pretty strong players, especially their attacking ones — Kinsi, Rochesti. You have to defend against these guys.