Ural Ekaterinburg edged a 69-67 win on Tuesday evening at Gaz Metan Medias in the opening game of their EuroChallenge Qualifying Round tie.
Christopher Monroe had 23 points for the team from Russia, with Aaron McGhee also scoring 19 and corralling eight rebounds.
Gaz Metan Medias from Sibiu had a bright start and led 8-1 with just under three minutes to go in the opening frame.
The Russians battled back, though, and knotted the game at 28-28 with 3:30 remaining in the first half.
At half-time, Gaz Metan had a 34-33 lead.
Not much separated the sides the rest of the way.
Ural Ekaterinburg trailed 62-61 when their center, Oleg Baranov, drew a foul and made two free-throws.
Anton Glazunov then connected from behind the arc for a 66-62 lead.
Deven Mitchell's two free-throws brought the hosts to within 68-67 just four seconds from the end.
Knowing how valuable every point can be in a two-legged tie, Ural Ekaterinburg coach Oleg Okulov called a timeout.
When play resumed, Dmitriy Arteshin drew a foul and made one of two free-throws for the two-point win.
The second leg will be played next week in Russia.
Mitchell finished with 24 points and nine rebounds for Gaz Metan Medias, who made just two of their 21 shots from long range.