Cedevita Zagreb downed Enterprise BC Dynamo 97-61 in the first leg of the Eurocup Qualifying Round on Wednesday, all but guaranteeing the Croatian outfit a spot in the next phase.
Marino Bazdaric scored a game-high 21 points to go with 5 assists to led a strong team effort by Cedevita Zagreb.
Dontaye Draper added 15 points and a game-high 7 assists along with 7 rebounds, while Corsely Edwards tallied 18 points and Vedran Vukusic chipped in with 15 points.
Alexey Zhukanenko made 18 points, and Dmitriy Khvostov added 11 points and 5 assists for Enterprise BC Dynamo.
Cedevita ran out to a 24-9 lead, but Draper hit a jumper for Dynamo to end the first quarter with his team down 29-13.
Cedevita continued to pour it on in the second, outscoring Dynamo 13-4 to establish a 42-17 lead.
A Bazdaric jumper as the first-halt buzzer sounded sent the home side into the third up 54-27.
Cedevita went ahead up by 32 (76-42) on a three-pointer by Bazdaric.
The closest Dynamo would get was 87-61 on a pair of free-throw by Zhukanenko, but Cedevita finished off the game's remaining two minutes with a 10-0 burst.
The second leg will be played in Russia on October 6.
Aco Petrović, Cedevita Zagreb head coach:
From the very first moment of our preparations on Rogla, my players showed that we have homogeneity. However, it is hard to open season with the game like this one, and especially after I put an imperative on our pass to Eurocup, because difference between Eurocup and EuroChallenge is great. Pass to Eurocup would be same as winning one trophy this season, but we played only first 40 minutes. We played brilliant first halftime and I think that was the best invitation to our fans for the next game. As soon as I saw Dontaye Draper in the summer league, I knew that we were going to play good basketball. He is player who makes every other team mate better player. We have to work off good second game in Moscow, and prepare ourselves for Zadar.
Vedran Vukušić, Cedevita Zagreb player:
This is surprising result for us since we expected greater resistance from Dynamo. But, we knew how Russians played. We closed their offensive rebound and limited their playmaker Khvostova. We let him shot more and stopped their offensive rebound, which was the key of our win.
Sergey Bazarevich, Dynamo Moscow head coach:
It is very hard to experience failure like this and I am very disappointed. Not just by our overall play, but with last couple of minutes during which we had no character. You can win and you can lose. We did not expect to play good at the beginning of the season since we have young team. But to stop playing before the end of the game is very bad sign. Our problem are some players who did not play during last season, and some players who had secondary roles in the team. We have to find players who will fight and lead the team. Our main problem is mental and we have to keep building team character.
Alexey Zhukanenko, Dynamo Moscow player:
We played very bad defense. First we had problems with Cedevitas' outer line, and when we managed to control their outer line, we had problems under the basket. I am very disappointed.