Euroleague absolutely newcomers: Zenit Sankt Petersburg

Euroleague absolutely newcomers: Zenit Sankt Petersburg

Alongside CSKA Moscow and Khimki Moscow, this year will be another Russian team in the competition, Zenit. They finished in 5th place in VTB Regular season, but in the playoffs, they were stopped in semifinals by VTB and Euroleague 2018-2019 champions, CSKA Moscow. They lost 3-0 but in game 2 and 3 they lost with a small margin: 83-81 and 68-69 respectively.

They were very busy in the transfer market. They extended contracts for Dmitry Khvostov, Sergey Balashov and Vladislav Trushkin. Regarding the new players, Zenit strengthens their roster with many players. They bring Andrey Zubkov (28 years-old, 2.06 m, Forward) from Khimki Moscow. He averaged 4.5 points and 2.2 rebounds in 25 Euroleague appearances last year. The second player brought was Alex Renfroe (33 years-old, 1.91 m, Point Guard) a player with huge experience in European Basketball. He also played before in Euroleague three different times with ALBA Berlin, Bayern and Barcelona Lassa. Last season he played for Partizan Belgrade and in six Eurocup matches, he averaged 8.0 points, 4.3 rebounds and 7.3 assists. With his passing skills, Zenit offense will be much stronger.

Another backcourt player that will help Zenit at both ends is Andrew Albicy. He played last season for MoraBanc Andorra and in 20 Eurocup games, he averaged 12.1 points, 5.9 assists and 1.8 steals. He led his team to Eurocup semifinals and was selected in the All-Eurocup First Team. In the backcourt, they also bring Austin Hollins (27 years old, 1.93m, Shooting Guard). He played last season for Rasta Vechta. He had big numbers there, averaging 16.5 points and 2.3 steals per game.

After those backcourts players, their attention turned to big players. They bring Tim Abromaitis (29 years old, 2.03 m, Forward) from Tenerife. He finished the Spanish League with 11.7 points and 3.9 rebounds. The next player that signs with Zenit were coming also from Tenerife and that is Colton Iverson (30 years old, 2.12m, Center). He played in Turkish Airlines Euroleague in three seasons with Baskonia, Karsiyaka and Maccabi Tel-Aviv. He averaged in those seasons 7.9 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. And the last player arrived was Mateusz Potnika (25 years old, 1.98m, Forward). He came from Lokomotiv Kuban and he has experience in Euroleague, playing on two different occasions.

Zenit took the transfer market by storm, adding many new players, especially those with experience and offensive appetite. This is the first time ever for them in Euroleague history, so all the transfers were made to improve the roster a lot, in order to deliver some nice performances, especially in front of their fans. I expect some good matches from this new-look Zenit, by their chances for a playoff spot are slim. I like the roster they present right now, but their lack of experience can cause them some serious problems.

Bogdan Vasile Tirc