Dynamo St Petersburg survived a comeback by Azovmash Mariupol on Tuesday and won 89-84 to clinch a spot in the EuroCup second round.
The Ukrainians pulled out to a three-point lead in the first quarter only to see St Petersburg, the winners of the FIBA Europe League last season, dominate the second quarter for a 46-38 at the break.
|Damir Miljkovic had a season high 25 points for Dynamo|
Damir Miljkovic and Andrey Ivanov proved too much for Azovash in the third period as Dynamo pushed their advantage to 15 points after 30 minutes at 68-53 and though Azovmash battled to stay within striking distance, they were unable to beat a team which has yet to lose in the EuroCup.
Miljkovic scored 25 points and Andrey Ivanov added 19.
Ognjen Askrabic was held to just five points but had six assists while Kelly McCarty chipped in with 12 points in the road game.
"It's a very important win for us," said Dynamo St Petersburg coach Fotis Katsikaris, who team lost a heart-breaking clash against Dynamo Moscow at the weekend.
"What made me proud is that my team showed its character, playing in difficult conditions.
"We've proven that we've got potential to develop. We've got every feature of a successful team - character and strong will."
Khalid El-Amin paced Azovmash with 27 points, five rebounds and five assists while Art Long added 20 points for the home side.
El-Amin, Long and the three-point shooting of Arnas Kazlauskas brought Azovmash back into the game.
The Ukrainians out-scored the Russians 31-21 in the final period but the comeback was not enough.
"We completely lost the game at the start, though we won the first quarter," Azovmash coach Rimas Girskis said. "I must admit that Dynamo is the strongest team we've met this season."
Azovmash are now 2-2 in Group A and will advance to the Round of 16 if they beat CSU Asesoft next week.