Nymburk - Zenit: A game on the Elbe

The lastest game in the marathon run of matches in the VTB United League saw Zenit win away in the Czech Republic against Nymburk.
Nymburk - Zenit: A game on the Elbe

A month ago the teams met in St. Petersburg with the blue-white-sky blues celebrating a landslide victory, but on this occassion the Czech Lions had their two men available, Jiří Welsch and Maxim de Zeeuw. With both their main guys returning to the team it looked like Nymburk had equalize their chances of getting a win and help their target of a position in the top eight of the standings.

Right from the start it was clear that both teams were going for the win at any cost. After two minutes, the scoreboard showed the score at 2-2. Zenit as expected took their attack seriously, Daudell, Tulson and the freshly recovered Timma put the guests ahead 2-9 early on. The Czech side found it difficult in attack but then Benda drew a foul in attack, and the local living legend Jiri Welsch started to turn it on and bring the Czechs back into the game. Nymburk found the strong defence of Zenit difficult to break down in their allotted 24 seconds for attacking and toward the end of the period Hruban and de Zeeuw made some accurate three-point throws from behind the arc, meaning the first quarter ended in an equal fight and in a much more attacking manner. At the end of 10 minutes of the game on the scoreboard showed 28-32 in favor of the guests.

The second quarter started in much the same rhythm. Both teams attack flowed forward scoring points but Zenit constantly kept their 3-5 points advantage. The blue-white-sky blue players operated well around the opponenets ring and played with the same attacking style that had lead to the great home win over Kalev. This allowed Zenit to compensate for flaws they were showing in defence. The opponents then had three blocked shots in less than 8 minutes and the coaches of both teams could not have been satisfied with the actions of their players in defence, but the fans were clearly pleased with the attacking style of the game and went into half time seeing a score of 47-55.

Interestingly, the second half started the same as the first with two points apiece. Nymburk came into the second half determined to hinder Zenit's attack and stop their guests scoring so freely, but Timma and Tulson both won rebounds and Thomas was able return Zenit's lead to 10 points, and then even increase it! The away side was playing, speeding up or slowing down the pace at will and were now in control of the game. Before the final ten minuets Zenit had built up a lead of 78-59 and had another good chance of scoring 100 points again this season.

It looked unlikely that the away side would achieve the 100 point goal but this became the main goal of the team in the final period and Zenit threw everything at the home side's ring. Nymburk seemed already defeated and their game went from bad to worse. They ended the match without a struggle and Zenit went all guns blazing for the last 10 minutes, even with some of the star players taking a seat on the bench. Zenit made the 100 point total and ended the game with a score of 102-81. The blue-white-sky blues now continue to fight for third or forth place in the regular season table .