In the match of the second stage of the VTB United League regular season in Group A, Zenit from St. Petersburg will travel to Moscow for a match with the IBA.
MBAVasily Karasev's team, like the team from St. Petersburg, has recently played in a rather tight schedule.
The IBA played its last match in the VTB United League on March 15. On the home court, the Moscow club finally broke a protracted series of defeats and beat Nizhny Novgorod with a score 71:67 (18:15; 23:22; 18:18; 12:12). In this meeting, defender Timofey Yakushin played quite well in the IBA, he scored 12 points, made eight rebounds and completed two assists. As a result, Yakushin got into the symbolic top five of the VTB United League round.
And last weekend IBA played in the "Final Four" of the Cup of Russia. In the semifinals of the tournament, which was held in St. Petersburg, IBA just played against Zenit. Sergey Karasev's team imposed quite a good fight on a much more high-status opponent, but still lost due to a weak final quarter. The meeting ended with a score 77:87 (11:17; 22:19; 29:19; 15:32).
After the defeat on Saturday, the IBA had no time to be sad and had to immediately prepare for the bronze medal match on Sunday. Vasily Karasev's team was able to get together and in the match for the third place confidently beat Khimki from Moscow with the score 77:68 (20:18; 18:16; 16:13; 23:21). Following the results of this match, IBA captain Evgeny Voronov scored 19 points, made five rebounds, three assists and two steals. As a result, Voronov was also recognized as the best light forward of the Final Four of the Russian Cup.
We also add that the IBA was left without center Sergey Klyuev until the end of the season. He suffered a fracture of his inner ankle in the match against Zenit.
ZenitJavier Pascual's team, in turn, played their last match in the VTB United League on March 13.
Zenit hosted CSKA Moscow at its venue in St. Petersburg. It turned out to be a very hard fight between the teams, where Zenit still fell a little short and lost with the score 69:72 (14:20; 16:13; 22:16; 17:23). In this meeting, the American point guard Trent Frazier played quite brightly in Zenit, he scored 20 points, made three rebounds and completed five assists.
And already in the "Final Four" of the Russian Cup, Zenit could not fulfill the task and win the trophy. After defeating the IBA, Javier Pascual's team could not cope with Nizhny Novgorod in the title match and lost with the score 72:84 (12:23; 24:19; 17:22; 19:20).
ForecastIn this match, Zenit, of course, even on the road, is considered by bookmakers to be an extremely clear favorite.
No one doubts the success of the team from St. Petersburg, but after a busy weekend it is unlikely that there will be a particularly bright game in Moscow. We suggest that you bet less than 158.5 points on the total.