Zenit St. Petersburg fans might have been forgiven for deciding to leave a little before the end of their team’s home game against Dolomiti Energia Trento on Wednesday night. After all, it had been a good night and victory was assured with Marko Simonovic’s fastbreak layup giving Zenit an 87-71 lead with only 3:30 left on the clock.
But any fans who did leave early missed out on something special, because what Trento did next was truly incredible. First, Diego Flaccadori scored a two-pointer, followed by a pair of free throws. 87-76. Then Beto Gomes scored, making it a single-digit game for the first time since early in the second quarter. Sergey Karasev then appeared to have settled things with a long two, making it 89-78 with less than two minutes remaining. But Trento had other ideas: Aaron Craft scored a three-point play, Gomes added another triple, and Davide Pascolo scored from close range. Eight unanswered points in a minute, and it was 89-86, with 40 seconds left. Zenit could still have put the game to bed, but the home team couldn't score, Trento got the ball back and Gomes – falling backwards and with hands in his face – somehow netted a corner three to level the game and force overtime.
That wasn't the end of the drama. Zenit took control again in overtime, moving 4 points ahead through three-pointers from Vladislav Trushkin and Evgeny Voronov. But again Trento came back, this time powered by a triple from Fabio Mian. And when Flaccadori was fouled, he made both free throws to give Trento its first lead of the whole night…with 20 seconds of overtime remaining. Karasev answered immediately from the foul line, but Trento had another chance and Craft was the hero, knocking down a nerveless mid-range jump shot with just 4 seconds on the clock. Then Flaccadori stole the inbounds pass, made his free throws…and it was all over.
Trento had somehow stolen the win despite trailing for 42:46 out of the 45 minutes played, and only leading for 5 seconds all night. If you hadn't seen it, you wouldn't believe it.