|Dejan Borovnjak iced the final result from the free-throw line, sending Gaziantep into the Final Four|
Dejan Borovnjak held his nerve to sink two free throws with one second left and give Royal Hali Gaziantep a 68-67 victory over Tsmoki Minsk and send them into the EuroChallenge Final Four.
Borovnjak led Gaziantep with 22 points and 12 rebounds and did not shirk the responsibility with the game on the line as the visitors completed the fourth quarter a perfect six-of-six from the free-throw line.
Minsk, the highest scoring and best rebounding team in the EuroChallenge, must go away and figure out how their hopes were ended in a pair of one-point losses, while Gaziantep's dream debut in European competition continues.
Two days after staging a dramatic rally from 21 points down to win Game One 59-58 it appeared it might be Gaziantep's turn to blow a lead, albeit a rather smaller one, as Minsk used a 9-0 run inside the final five minutes to come from behind and lead 61-58 on Tyrone Brazelton's free throws 2:57 from time.
Domen Lorbek brought Gaziantep level when he completed a three-point play from the line, but they were playing catch-up each time as the teams traded baskets.
Gaziantep nudged in front when Ernest Bremer tacked on a free throw to his lay-up with 20 seconds left, making it 66-65.
Minsk held the ball, hoping to set up a decisive play, but in the end were grateful to score at all as Demonte Harper grabbed the rebound from Branko Mirkovic's missed three and put it in for a 67-66 edge.
With only three ticks left, Borovnjak drew a quick foul from Aliaksei Lashkevich and did the business from the free throw line.
Bremer added 16 points for Gaziantep while Mikko Koivisto added 12.
Pavel Ulyanko had 17 points for Minsk, with Mirkovic adding 14 and Harper 13. Jason Washburn also reached double figures with 10.
Gaziantep Head Coach Jurij Zdovc
"I congratulate my players and staff on reaching the final stage of this tournament. The result could have gone another way and Minsk could have won this series 2-0. But without luck there's no basketball. And this week we were a little bit more fortunate than Tsmoki. Speaking about today's game, I should mention that we should have been leading by 15 points before the break. We defended well, but we missed some open shots. In the second half we didn't move the ball well, and Minsk destroyed our lead. But during the final minutes we achieved all the goals and got the result needed."
Gaziantep Player Mikko Koivisto
"Today both teams played 40 minutes of tough basketball. But we were better prepared, mentally and physically. Besides the luck was on our side - the other day the game might have ended in the Belarusians' favour. Minsk had a very good team - especially their guards. They made us work hard against pick-and-rolls. But we adjusted our defence after the break and stole the win."
Tsmoki Head Coach Andrei Krivonos
"I'm 100% sure that this series should go back to Turkey. Both teams deserved the third game to find out who is the real winner of this quarter-final. But the ball took another decision. So we could only accept this fact, no matter how strong the pain in our hearts is."
Tsmoki Player Aliaksei Lashkevich
"I want to say words of gratitude to my team-mates and the fans. Today we gave our best, played with all our hearts and almost made the miracle happen. But fortune cheated on us in the final moments of the game."