Keravnos will take just a two-point lead to Russia with them after edging CSK-VVS Samara 85-83 in the first game of the EuroCup Challenge final.
It was nip and tuck all the way, and the two sides were level going into the dying seconds before Patrick Lee made two free throws to give the hosts the advantage.
Keravnos shared the points around, with Alexander Koul, Lee and Victor King registering 21, 19 and 18 respectively.
But it was visiting forward Nikita Shabalkin who really caught the eye, pouring in 25 points, including nine of nine from the free throw line, and
grabbing 13 rebounds.
The 20-year old Shabalkin has been impressive form during the play-offs and has averaged 25.8 points and 9.6 rebounds in his last five games.
Valeriy Tikhonenko's side will again look to Shabalkin when they welcome Keravnos to Samara for the return game next Thursday.