BC Kalev/Cramo could not get the first win in VTB this season but managed to give a great effort against the strong Zenit team and was sent off with a great applause from the fans. Kalev led 74:73 six and a half minutes before the end but couldn’t find the basket for three minutes after that which led to a 11:0 Zenit run and gave the visitors a 74:84 lead. Kalev did not give up and tried playing the free-throw game in the end but the time ran out. Fifth loss of the season 89:95 (39:48).
Astana defeated Parma today which means Kalev/Cramo is the only team without a win so far. Branko Mirkovic had 22 points (10/11 free-throws) but also had 7 turnovers. Cedric Simmons had a nice double-double with 20 points and 11 rebounds while Janari Jõesaar had his best VTB game so far with also a double-double, 16 points and 11 rebound. Kristjan Kangur added 10 points. Sergey Karasjov had 24 points for the visitors and Kyle Kuric, who shined in the deciding run had 19 points including 5/8 from the deep. Ex Kalev player Demonte Harper who has averaged 17 points this season was held only to 7 points.
Kalev shot the ball better, dominated the rebounding game against the best rebounding team in the league (40:28) but againt couldn’t take care of the ball good enough as we had 10 more turnovers than Zenit.
Kalev started great and led most of the first half (biggest lead 16:11) great performance by Mirkovic who had 10 in the first quarter. In the second quarter the offense started stalling and 31:29 lead turned into 31:39 deficit. Coming back from the half, Kalev/Cramo was fired up and thanks to the great crowd went on a 13:3 run and took the lead back, 56:55. Right after that the hosts made their 8:0 run and going into the fourth the score was 64:65 for Zenit.
Baskets from Kangur, Simmons, Jõesaar and Dorbek held Kalev in the game but again and again Kuric was the man who made the clutch shots. Zenit got their 12th win in a row against BC Kalev/Cramo who fill face Astana in a week, hopefully with their latest signing – Isaiah Briscoe.