|Milovan Rakovic was one of five Triumph Lyubertsy players on double figures in scoring|
Triumph Lyubertsy blew a big first-half lead but then pulled clear at the end to take a crucial 80-72 road win over Ural Ekaterinburg in the first leg of their all-Russian EuroChallenge quarter-final.
Triumph led by 13 late in the second period, but the hosts came roaring back to take a brief lead of their own in the third period and then kept it close until the final minutes.
But Triumph, who had dominated inside the entire game, then hit a volley of three-pointers in the final five minutes to edge clear once more.
After Ekaterinburg started strong, Triumph took control with a 13-0 run that put them 19-14 up on Jeremy Chappell's driving lay-up.
Their lead was 38-25 when Kyle Landry nailed a three-pointer with 2:46 to go until half-time, and Ekaterinburg looked in danger of being blown out on their home court.
Lance Harris was not about to let that happen and he replied with back-to-back threes, launching a rally which continued in the third period and saw Ekaterinburg lead 51-50 when Aaron McGhee capped an 8-0 spurt with a three of his own.
Pavel Spiridonov immediately replied with a three for Triumph and the teams traded blows until early in the fourth period.
Triumph then began to make their second break, and led 68-63 when Milovan Rakovic got the tip-in from his own miss midway through the fourth period.
Ekaterinburg's offense had gone ice cold at a critical moment, and they went without scoring for almost four minutes, grateful to still be in touch at 68-65 when Anton Glazunov tipped-in his own missed free throw to score.
But now Triumph began to reel off three-pointers, with Chappell hitting from deep either side of a long ball from Landry, putting them up 77-71 with 2:36 to go.
Ekaterinburg struggled to get anything going in response, barely even able to get hold of the ball as Triumph made their dominance on the glass count.
Glazunov got one back from the free throw line with 88 seconds left, but time was fast running out and, as Ekaterinburg turned to fouls, Triumph salted the game away from the line.
Chappell led Triumph with 16 points, with Rakovic and Courdon Higgins adding 15 each. Landry and Evgeny Voronov had 13 apiece.
Harris had 27 points for Ekaterinburg, with Glazunov contributing 12 and McGhee 11.