A long range barrage from Dynamo Moscow was enough to see of Telindus Oostende in the opening match of their 3-game series in Moscow. The trio of Nikos Ekonomou, Jimmy Oliver and Damir Mrsic proved almost unconscious from the 3-point line, as they combined to hit 16/27 for the game.
It didn’t take long for Dynamo to hit their offensive stride and although Telindus opened the game with a 3-pointer, the home team hit back immediately and finished with 33 first quarter points.
It was enough to give them an 8-point lead, one which they would not relinquish for the remainder of the game. Mrsic and Ekonomou continued to torture the Belgians in the second quarter with their shooting, and they were 21-points ahead by halftime.
It was a similar story in the third, as it seemed that Ekonomou and Mrsic could do no wrong and everything they threw up went in. A 5-minute 4th quarter lapse was the only weak point of the game, but Dynamo soon recovered, and ended up winning by 20, 94:74.
Ekonomou was selected MVP of the game. He played all 40 minutes, scoring 34 points on 12/21 shooting, including 5/9 on three-pointers. Mrsic and Oliver added 22 each.
Of the 4 group winners in the Qualifying Round of the FIBA Europe League, 3 of the clubs are Russian. Dynamo Moscow finished Group D tied with Strauss Iscar Nahariya at 11:3, but enough to secure the top spot. Telindus finished their group 6:6, tied with Siroki and Turk Telekom but enough to scrape through to the play-offs.
On the domestic front, Dynamo are in 4th place in the Russian Superleague, trailing Ural Great by 3 points. Oostende have had a difficult time at home and currently lie in 5th position in the table with an 11:7 record.
|Oostende's Christophe Beghin will face a stern test against Dynamo|
Dynamo’s participation has been a little more patchy and they have not played since a 1997 appearance in the EuroLeague.
Dynamo have a star studded roster and can rely on the talents of Russian players Andrey Fettisov, Dmitri Domani and Nikolai Padius. Their non-Russian players are also among the best in Europe and include Nikos Ekonomou (GRE), Damir Mrsic (BIH), and Americans Jimmy Oliver and Kenajn Dzons.
Perhaps the most interesting match-up wil be between Oostende’s young up-and-comer Christoph Behgin and the Dynamo forwards Fettisov, Ekonomou and Oliver. Beghin will be outmatched on the experience front, but the 23-year old has shown signs that he can be a top player in Europe and this series could put him on the map.
Both teams have proved to be stronger on the road than at home. Oostende have a 4:2 record in away games while Dynamo are 5:1.
One area where Dynamo struggle is on the boards and they average 30 rpg (20th among all teams), compared to 34.4 rpg for Oostende (4th among all teams).