|Andrea Cinciarini was outstanding for Reggio Emilia|
Reggio Emilia held off a fourth-quarter rally before pulling away for a 75-63 victory over Krasnye Krylia in the first leg of their EuroChallenge quarter-final.
Reggio saw a 14-point lead disappear in the second half as the defending champions came back to tie the game with five minutes to go.
But Reggio's response was emphatic as they scored 19 points in the last 4:38 of the game to take first blood in the tie.
Reggio made their first move at the start of the second quarter as Ariel Filloy hit three-pointers at either end of a 14-2 burst that put them up 32-18.
Victor Keyru ended Krasnye Krylia's dry run with a three-pointer and they gradually clawed away at their deficit to trail 37-29 at half-time.
Reggio Emilia quickly got their lead back into double figures in the second half, but the visitors soon began to chip away once more, and back-to-back three-pointers from Demetris Nichols and Michal Ignerski midway through the fourth period made it 54-53.
Another three from Ignerski brought them level at 56-56 with 5:06 left.
But the home team, held to four points in the first 5:22 of the final stanza, then came to life as Ojars Silins sank a three-pointer, starting a 19-7 run to the finish, including the final seven points of the game.
Andrea Cinciarini collected 19 points, six rebounds and seven assists for Reggio, with Rimantas Kaukenas adding 14 points and six assists, and Filloy scoring 11.
Ignerski and Larry O'Bannon led Krasnye Krylia with 15 points each, while Nichols had 14.
Sergey Bazarevich, Krasnye Krylia coach:
"We played how we should but only for 15 minutes and it's not enough for winning a game. In the first 25 minutes we kept too low a rhythm and Grissin Bon managed to break all of our offensive plays. They were very aggressive, and when we upped the pace we could find spaces and got back into the game, but it was too late. I hope that in the next two matches we will present the basketball that we know."
Aaron Myles, Krasnye Krylia:
"Congratulations to Reggio Emilia, they played a great game; in particular Ariel Filloy and Andrea Cinciarini who made some important plays in the end. Grissin Bon played hard and deserved this victory. We made many small mistakes that cost us the game. It is not possible that you expect to win when you play strong for only 15 minutes. We'll have to do our best in game 2 and try to tie the series."
Ariel Filloy, Grissin Bon:
"We played hard from the beginning of the game and we tried to control the match and I think we succeeded. They adapted to our rhythm and joined us, but then we increased the intensity on defense and thanks to some excellent plays by Andrea Cinciarini, we won the game. The coach asked us to try and start this game in the manner we played the second half of the [recent Italian league] game against Olympia Milano and I would say that we succeeded doing that."
Max Menetti, Grissin Bon coach:
"We made the first step. Samara is a tough opponent but we have approached well the game and now we are 1-0. I'm not 100% happy with my team because when we lowered the defensive focus, Samara could come back in the game. We need to pay more attention and have a winning attitude in Russia. We defended well, with attention and aggressively, and this led us to points from fast breaks. The problem is that when we have an offensive blackout , we go down also in defense. But we should be doing the opposite. Anyway, 48 hours after the [league] match against Olympia Milano, it was not easy to win against a physical team such as Samara."