NN - Zenit: The first playoff ends in defeat

In the first match of the 1/8 finals of the European Cup against away to Nizhny Novgorod Zenit came away with a heavy defeat.
NN - Zenit: The first playoff ends in defeat

It was the third game in four days for the St.Petersburg team and an injury to Dmitry Golovin meant he missed the game. The home side took a quick lead of 12-4. A timeout from Vasily Karasev did not help Zenit stop the problems in attack. The blue-white-sky blue's attack had an extremely low scoring percentage, and the defense could not help much either. The first quarter ended with a score of 27:12.

At the start of the second quarter, Zenit were able to stop the opponents in the attack and Daudell Antipov reduced the gap to 13 points, but then things went from bad to worse with the home side scoring freely. Nizhny Novgorod continued to bombard the Zenit ring. Victor Rudd scored 21 points, 15 of which he scored from long-range shots and this gave the home team a first half lead of 56:34.

 It seemed that the second half might be much better for Zenit, but again when the blue-white-sky blues started to get in the attack, Nizhny Novgorod came back with their long-range guns. Strebkov was as accurate as his team mate Rudd. Zenit were unable to reply and the third quater finsihed 83:50.

Zenit were able to get together and to narrow the gap in the final quater in an attempt to turn the return leg not into just a mere formality. Zenit were able to make some important interceptions and score a few points to bring about better times. Having won the last quarter the match finished with a score of 102: 76. The return match will take place in St. Petersburg on March 2.