ETHA Encomi beat Artland Dragons 69-61 in the first leg of the Eurochallenge Qualifying Round in Cyprus on Wednesday.
Kenvarrios Tutt scored a game-high 22 points to lead ETHA to the win, while Reginald Redding chipped in with 14 points and Anthony King tallied 12 points to go with 9 rebounds.
Darren Fenn had 17 points and 7 rebounds for Artland, and Tyrese Rice notched 8 points and dished out 5 assists.
ETHA got out to a 22-16 lead early, but a pair of free throws by Rice pulled the Dragons back to within four (22-18) entering the second period.
Rice then tied it at 26-26, again from the line, before Tutt scored eight straight unanswered points to push ETHA out ahead.
A dunk by Tutt meant that ETHA enjoyed a 42-35 advantage at the halftime break.
ETHA opened up a seven-point lead mid-way through the third, but Artland pulled to within 56-54 on a jumper by Fenn going into the final quarter.
The Dragons cut the deficit to 62-60, but a jump-shot by Tutt put ETHA up 69-60 with 1:37 to play.
The second and deciding game will be played on October 6 in Germany.