The VTB League playoff series for third place will continue in St. Petersburg, where our team went today…
While the country was watching the parade in honor of the Victory Day, the red-and-blues were going to practice. For the last two days, the team has continued to work at Megasport - both to preserve the feeling of a large arena and to avoid street closures.
The roster of CSKA remains unchanged. Injured Semen Antonov will again travel with the team to support his teammates. Alexey Shved's condition is gradually improving; today he will have a control examination, after which the guard can be discharged from the hospital. The condition of the ill Artem Komolov, who has not yet been allowed to practice, is also better.
Zenit also has difficult situation with the injuries. Sergey Karasev (ankle) and Trey Tompkins (thigh muscle) did not take part in the Moscow games of the series, the club has not announced the timing of their return. Sergey Monya is out for the rest of the season due to thrombosis. In addition, at a press conference after the second game, Xavi Pascual said that young Andrey Toptunov was injured, that Dmitry Kulagin and Caleb Homesley played through pain. In addition, Tomas Heurtel missed the first game due to injury.
A big victory in the previous meeting and the problems of rivals do not relax the Muscovites. Everyone remembers well how hard it was right after the brilliant sixth game of the semi-finals. Everyone knows that even the absence of players does not weaken the Zenit roster, which remains very dangerous - in the end, the main striking force of the rivals, high-scoring guards Heurtel and Trent Frasier are ready to take the floor. And, in general, as Emil Raikovic said below, it's not about Heurtel...
After practice at Megasport, the red-and-blues had a meal, boarded the club bus and went to Sheremetyevo, from where they took Aeroflot's regular flight to St. Petersburg.
Emil Rajkovic, CSKA head coach:
It is not about the fact that Heurtel played in the second game in comparison to the first. It's about us, it's about the way we played. Most important for us is to play as we agreed, accordingly to our game plan, to defend aggressively, in contact, to show big effort on the court. And then we can talk about tactics, details, the players to attack.
Wins-losses: 28-13 (5-0 in EuroLeague, 18-0 against Triumph Lyubertsy)
Games of the 2022-23 VTB United League season:
01-Nov-2022. 1st stage. Zenit - CSKA: 80-85 (+5)
20-Jan-2023. 1st stage. CSKA - Zenit: 80-100 (+20)
06-Feb-2023. 2nd stage. CSKA - Zenit: 88-90 (-4)
13-Mar-2023. 2nd stage. Zenit - CSKA: 69-72 (+3)
05-May-2023. For the 3rd place. CSKA - Zenit: 68-86 (-18)
07-May-2023. For the 3rd place. CSKA - Zenit: 85-61 (+24)
Zenit St.Petersburg, Russia
Colors: dark-blue, white, light-blue
Homecourt: SIBUR Arena (7,120)
CEO: Alexander Tserkovny
Head coach: Xavi Pascual