MiZo-Pécsi VSK took the necessary third win tonight against Ukrainian rivals Kozachka-Zalk Zaporozhye in the last remaining 1/8 final play-off game and with it move into the Quarter-Finals for the fifth year in a row.
The Ukrainians took the lead early in the second quarter and for the first five minutes the game went end-to-end with neither team able to take control. Pécs were still trailing by one point after 17 minutes, 27-28, but two lay-ups from Koraljka Hlede followed by another quick four points from Albena Branzova meant that the Hungarian champions went into the locker room with a five-point advantage and a little breathing space.
Zaporozhye were determined not to let go though and although Pécs pulled even further ahead within the first minute back on court, again Zaporozhye came back to within two points, 43-41, Olena Fen'ko hitting from outside and Oxana Pys'Mennyk in the paint. Daliborka Vilipic answered for the hosts, drawing fouls and scoring the resulting free-throws.
Pécs' tight defense paid off in the fourth quarter and Zaoporzhye were prevented from scoring for the entire first five minutes, by which time their hosts had stretched the lead to 18 points. With the game effectively over, Fen'ko still kept pushing her teammates and attacking the basket, however, it was too little, too late. Final score 73-59.
Game MVP: Timea Béres from Pécs.