BC Kyiv will not have many easy games in the EuroCup, or the Superliga.
That was evident in their recent game against Budivelnyk, owners of six Ukraine titles in their history, who threw a scare into Kyiv before falling in the capital city derby, 88-82.
Kyiv coach Renato Pasquali knows every team give their best shot against Kyiv because of one thing. They are Ukraine's champions, and there is no better scalp to claim than that of the defending champs.
"I suspected the game was going to be really tough, but it seems to me that some of the players didn't," Pasquali said.
"I can't explain why they didn't perform as they can.
"This is a real problem for us and we have to do something immediately."
Volodymyr Orlenko of Budivelnyk had additional incentive as he played for Kyiv last season before switching clubs.
He had several dunks in the third quarter when an upset looked as if it might be on the cards.
But a couple of late tunovers cost Budivelnyk at the end, and Kyiv, who got 16 points, seven rebounds, four assists and three steals from LaMarr Greer, claimed the six-point win.
Kyiv, who reached the final of the FIBA Europe League last season before falling ot Dynamo St Petersburg, open their EuroCup campaign next week at home against Barons Riga.