|Baris Ermis helped Royal Hali Gaziantep stage an amazing comeback|
Royal Hali Gaziantep wiped out a 21-point deficit to take a 59-58 victory in the first leg of their EuroChallenge quarter-final play-off series against Tsmoki Minsk.
Domen Lorbek's free throw with four seconds left completed a job which once looked well beyond a Gaziantep team who were thoroughly outplayed for the first 17 minutes of the game.
Minsk began the game on fire, scoring the first seven points and taking an 18-7 lead on Jason Washburn's dunk late in the first quarter.
When Branko Mirkovic and Aliaksei Trastsinetski hit back-to-back three pointers they led 32-12 midway through the second quarter and the lead hit 21 soon after on Tyrone Brazelton's jump shot.
But that finally sparked Gaziantep into some kind of life as Baris Ermis and Ernest Bremer hit back-to-back threes of their own.
However, the comeback did not begin in earnest until midway through the third period when Lorbek scored the first five of 10 unanswered points to bring the deficit back into single figures at 45-37.
Minsk briefly stretched it back out again, but a 9-0 burst had the hosts within two with 2:20 to go.
Pavel Ulyanko's three gave Minsk breathing room, but after Oliver Stevic hit a jump-shot, Brazelton could only split his free throws and Gaziantep punished him with back-to-back threes from Can Ogut and Ermis to take their first lead of the game, 58-56, with just 42 seconds left.
Brazelton tied it with a jump-shot, but Gaziantep took time off the clock before sending Lorbek to the line with four seconds left.
He hit the first and missed the second, but although Ulyanko grabbed the rebound for Minsk, Ermis stripped the ball away from Brazelton to seal the victory.
In all, Gaziantep had been ahead for all of 16 seconds in the game, but that was all they needed.
Lorbek led Gaziantep with 15 points while Ermis had 13 with seven assists. Stevic scored eight while pulling down 16 rebounds.
Mirkovic finished with 19 points for Minsk.
Jurij Zdovc, Royal Hali Gaziantep Head Coach
"Congratulations to my players and my assistants. We do not celebrate right now because there is another game at Minsk. We won but we didn't play good. They made alot of difficult shots and we didn t make free selections expecially in the first half. In the second half we turned to four short players and we found out the way how to win. For sure we have to play better at Minsk and we will do everything for the win there."
Sertac Sanli, Royal Hali Gaziantep
"It was an important game. We wanted to win and get the advantage. We didn't start well but in the second half we lifted our hustle and defence. We deserved to win this game."
Donaldas Kairys, Tsmoki Minsk Head Coach
"It was a great game. It showed it was a real playoff game. The game was tied but at the end they won. We have two days for rest.We will try to fix our problems for next game and we will try to do our best for win the game at Minsk."
Tyrone Brazelton, Tsmoki Minsk
"We prepared for this game good and we did everything what our coach wanted from us. They made all the difficult shots and we didn't hold the game. We are so sorry about losing at the end of game."