Israeli sides have enjoyed particular success in Russia this season, as proven by Hapoel Tel Aviv’s win over Ural Great in Perm and Nahariya’s victory over Dynamo Moscow. Tel Aviv continued that trend with an away win against Dynamo Moscow in the first game of their FEL quarter-final play-off series.
Although both teams would eventually combine for 174 points, neither could make a shot in the first 2 1/2 minutes, until Dynamo center Donald Little opened the scoring with 2 free throws. The home team managed to maintain a small lead throughout the first quarter and led 15:13 at the close.
Tel Aviv’s frontcourt has been a strength all season and it was in the second quarter that Michael Wright and Virginijus Praskevicius began to assert themselves. The combination of the two players brought Tel Aviv the lead which reached 11 points at one point. A Dynamo rally cut the advantage, but Tel Aviv led 35:43 at the half.
Wright and Praskevicius continued to hurt Dynamo after the break and Tel Aviv’s stretched the lead to double digits in the 3rd quarter. It was not until the 38th minute that Dynamo really began to threaten a comeback. Damir Mrsic hit a 3-pointer in the last minute that cut Tel Aviv’s lead to 6, but time was out and Tel Aviv the winners.
Wright finished with 24 points for Tel Aviv while Praskevicius added 15. Jasim Hukic gave a typically versatile performance, scoring 14 points, grabbing 10 rebounds and dishing 7 assists.
Jimmy Oliver top scored for the home side with 19 points.