Pavel Sergeev, "Zenit are the best team in my life"
Zenit defender Pavel Sergeev discusses life in St.Petersburg and how he feels about the team's prospects.
Nowadays I mostly play as an attacking defender but sometimes I play as playmaker. Generally, in modern basketball we are not so creative, we have a lot of planned moves, all the players know them and know what they have to do on the court. So there are no problems.
Does improvisation have a place in today's game?
Zenit play a game of quick basketball. The head coach, Vasily Karasev always focuses on the fact that as soon as possible we should run into free space and if something does not happen initially in attack, then we should switch positions in attack. When we break quickly we can improvise anywhere.
Today there's a lot of discussion about the current limit on foreign players in Russian football. In basketball this limit does not exist at what do you think about the absence of such restrictions on foreigners?
I think each case must be considered individually. It all depends on the teams and their coaches. Some coaches are willing to give a chance to young Russian players, while others prefer to rely solely on foreign players. Previous regulations said you had to have two players with Russian passports on the court and this helped the life of our basketball. On the other hand, it made the coaches get distracted from the tactics of the game and they did not always have the opportunity to play the best teams. So the limit is a topic we could discuss forever, with arguments "for" and "against." It is not clear what is better. As for me, every player, regardless of the passport, should get a chance to prove himself. We don't need to create difficult conditions to play, but also we should not be in favour of foreigner players.
How are things in Zenit's team?
It is amazing, but we have a team where there is no separation between the foreigners and the Russians. Sometimes you don't start a game and you sit on the bench, but it all turns out alright. So at Zenit there is no need for a limit. Our coach knows how to find the right balance.
Who's the informal leader of the team?
I can't say someone in particular, we have a very good, friendly team, with a very warm atmosphere and good communication. Probably, Zenit are the best team in my life.
How difficult will it be for Zenit to do well in European competition, but also in the VTB United League?
In Europe we are in the second stage and the team has performed at about the same level as in the VTB United League, we've demonstrated this by our recent victory over Khimki, we can qualify for the highest places. Overall CSKA Moscow are the only team playing to a higher standard, but Zenit are able to win a game against them, but to win a series with several victories against them can be almost impossible.
Zenit FC's captain, Danny is a frequent guest at basketball. Have you been to watch the football this season?
So far, unfortunately, no. I hope I will in the spring. Although I like football, I can't really call myself a fan, I mostly watch the big tournaments like the World Cup and the European Championships.
Do you have any hobbies away from basketball?
When I'm not playing basketball I prefer playing tennis, but I do not play so often.
Zenit have moved from the SIBUR Arena to the Yubiliney Complex, some of the fans aren't happy about it, but what do you think?
Yes, I played only twice at the SIBUR Arena and have had a lot more matches at the Yubiliney, when I played for Spartak too. Now all the guys have become used to this arena and court. Now we are training at the Academy and playing at the Yubiliney, but objectively it would be more convenient to prepare and play on the same court.