|Miha Zupan was his reliable self in the win, contributing 12 points and 8 borads for Spartak|
Battling Barak Netanya nearly sprung an upset on the opening night of EuroChallenge Last 16 but fell 73-70 at Spartak Saint-Petersburg.
With Spartak having won five of their six Regular Season games and leading by 11 points early in the fourth quarter, they looked good bets for victory.
Still behind 70-62 with 3:26 to go, the visitors from Israel began to claw their way back.
Recent signing Dartona Lavelle Washam, playing in his first game for Netanya, hit a three-ball to close the gap to 70-65 and then Adrian Banks made a lay-up to close the gap to 70-67.
Spartak's Miha Zupan missed a shot from the arc, but the home side got the offense rebound and Henry Domercant scored with a lay-up shortly after.
Washam was in the midst of a terrific debut.
He brought his team even closer at 75-72 with another three just 34 seconds from the end.
Spartak ran down the shot clock and Domercant missed from long range, and the visitors rebounded, giving them another chance to pull level or go in front.
Zupan fouled Washam, but the 29-year-old missed both free-throws.
After Domercant made only the second of two free-throws in the waning seconds for a three-point Spartak lead, Netanya had one last roll of the dice.
Washam was off target from long range, though, and the Russian outfit survived.
Romeo Travis added 16 points and Banks, the EuroChallenge's leading scorer before the game with an average of more than 21 points, was held to just nine.
Domercant led a balanced Spartak attack with 16 points and Pero Antic weighed in with 15 and seven boards.
Slovenia international Zupan finished with 12 points and eight rebounds while Aleksey Kotishevskiy contributed nine points and eight boards.
Spartak out-rebounded Netanya, 38-30.
Spartak Player Vladimir Dyachok:
"There are no weak teams in the second round of the tournament. We played good in defence but missed many shoots. Coach toldus that if we couldn't shoot well in this game we had to play more inside and we did so."
Netanya Player Tiny Washam:
"It's a very good experience to play in EuroChallenge. We played with a very good team. I can say also that we played against a great coach. It was a good game. We could came closer to Spartak some times. But we couldn't win."
Netanya Head Coach Arik Elfasi:
"We played with a good team and good coach whose name is known as not in Israel. We played good and we did what we wanted to do before the game. I think two things killed us - our offensive rebounds and our free throws. We did to much misses from the free throw line. And in the end of the game we missed two big shoots. But my team is in good shape now and we continue to work hard."
Spartak Head Coach Zvi Sherf:
"First of all I am glad that we started our European campaign in this year with the victory. We had some trouble before the game. Our point guard Anton Ponkrashov is ill and had fever. And we didn't know before the game if he could play or not. We appreciate that he did in this situation. Not every player can do so. We played very good in defence but not so in offence including our 3-points shots percentage was low. But we won and it was the most important thing now."