Dynamo Moscow faced their first real test of the EuroLeague tonight in the form of Hungarian side MiZo Pecsi, who finished 3rd in last year's competition.
Having won both of their opening contests easily, the game against Pecsi was a different challenge and as such the opening quarter was tight as both teams tried to feel each other out.
Pec were the better side in the first half. Behind aggresive defense in the backcourt from Dalma Ivanyi and Koraljka Hlede, they were to take a narrow 3-point lead into the halftime break, 31-34.
Dynamo, who had been somewhat relaxed in the first half, found their motivation in the second. They increased their intesity on the boards, out-rebounding Pecsi 42-32 (Baranova - 16 rebounds) and Elena Shakirova and Vodopyanova carried the offensive load.
Dynamo took a 4-point lead in the final quarter and maintained the lead for the entire 10 minutes. Pecsi had a chance to tie the game in the final minute, but couldn't make the big shot they needed and Dynamo held on for their third consecutive win.
Vodopyanova finished the game with 20 points. Shakirova had 17 and both players grabbed 9 rebounds each.
Laslo Ratgeber, Head Coach, MiZo Pecsi VSK:
"It was an interesting game, with a lot of expectations laid on it. I think that our pivots didn’t play well today. We didn’t take care of the rebounds, there were lots of rebounds and that was the key of this game. It was very important to play this game physically against the Moscow team. The main problem we had against their position 3, because Baranova and Vodopyanova are more than 1,90m - that was the beginning of our trouble here.
The present team I am coaching this season is so far weaker than that I had the last year in the beginning of the season, but stronger than the same team at the end of the year - when we had to play the Final four with lots of injuries."
Semen Khalipsky, Head Coach, Dynamo Moscow:
"I’m satisfied that we were able to win this game, we managed to fulfill the hardest task - to work well in defense. Everybody tried to play on the best level individually, but I cannot make them play as a team yet. It takes time to find the communication within the team. Baranova tried to play but she still lacks something, Vodickova had a great motivation for the game. I can definitely say that it was a fabulous game from Vodopyanova.
The lack of team game in offense is substituted by the desire and passion so far, and it helps. The Hungarian team is really, really good. They are playing for a long time together with the same coach. We prepared seriously for this match, and I can say that the girls fulfilled my idea and vision of the game in general."