Astana upsets Zenit in Saint Petersburg

By Johnny Askounis/ [email protected]

Astana led by comfortable margins most of the way to eventually defeat Zenit Saint Petersburg, 83-69, on the road on Monday.

Former Arkansas standout, Jaylen Barford in his VTB United League debut logged a game-high 24 points powering the team based in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan. He made 10/17 from the field sending his side to 1-0. Point guard Anthony Hickey ended up with 15 points and nine assists.

The visitors were quick to jump into double-digit areas in the first quarter but were outscored, 29-14, in the second period. The second half again brought them another double-digit lead, in this case extending well into the fourth quarter after peaking at 17 points.

Xavi Pascual’s side was highlighted by Alex Poythress at 19 points. Jordan Loyd had 14 points. Jordan Mickey and Billy Baron did not play, three days after the win on the road opposite UNICS Kazan in Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Regular Season Round 1.

A win on the road in its 2021-22 VTB debut for Avtodor Saratov as well, getting the job done, 97-93, against Kalev/Cramo. Canadians Kenny Chery and Philip Scrubb led the way with 28 and 19 points, respectively. In the loss, JeQuan Lewis posted a 17-point, 12-assist double-double.

CSKA Moscow was already up to 3-0, while UNICS currently sits at 2-0 in the VTB. Zenit was forced down to 1-1. Action resumes next weekend.

Meanwhile, Zenit will visit Zalgiris Kaunas on Thursday, UNICS will take on AS Monaco at home and CSKA will be on the road versus Anadolu Efes on Friday in EuroLeague Regular Season Round 2.

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