Russian side Dynamo Moscow headed into the EuroLeague Women play-offs on Tuesday night with a new coach on the bench.
Former Latvian men's national team coach Armands Kraulins has taken over head coaching duties for Dynamo and led his team to a win over Polish visitors Wisla Krakow in his first test with his new club.
Kraulins' team did not produce a vintage performance against Krakow, but outmuscled the Polish team throughout, outrebounding them 57-37 in the 65-58 win.
Dynamo were always the favourites to win and they managed to keep their noses in front for most of the game. Wisla closed in to within one point in the second quarter (28-27), but three-pointers from Elena Baranaova and Mwadi Mabika soon saw Dynamo regain the ascendancy.
Wisla again threatened in the fourth, even taking a bried lead (52-51) before Dynamo regrouped and grabbed the advantage once again.
The game was decided in the final minute, when Oxana Rakhmatulina's three-pointer gave Dynamo an unassailable lead, 64-56.
Baranova finished with 17 points and 13 rebounds for Dynamo, while Rakhmatulina added 16.
Armands Kraulins, Dynamo Moscow Head Coach:
"It is better to get a win after a bad game, then a loss after a good game. It is my first match with this team and we still have to work a lot. We have to strengthen and work on our defence. The strength of our squad is the fast break, but so far we don’t get a full advantage of it. In our team I cannot point out anyone who had a good game individually, tonight we were strong as a team."
Wojcieh Downar-Zapolski, PS Wisla Can Pack Head Coach:
"We played a good game, but Dynamo was sure of their strength and were not afraid of us. The major reason for our defeat is their physical power. My players were not able to play against Dynamo’s tall players and as a result were out-rebounded 57-37."