|Finland's Gerald Lee had already made five of his nine two-point shots until one second before the final buzzer, when he scored his last and most important one of the night |
Gerald Lee's lay-up at the death on Friday night lifted Finland to a 75-73 triumph at Hungary in the Additional Qualifying Round for the EuroBasket.
In a thrilling encounter, Hungary battled back from a double-digit deficit at the end of the third quarter and went in front in the fourth but weren't able to turn back the Finns.
The defeat is a major one for the hosts as they fell in their first AQR game at Portugal earlier in the week.
With an 0-2 record, they now have a mountain to climb to reach the Final Round in Lithuania while both the Portuguese and Finns are 1-0.
Henrik Dettmann's Finland had to show tremendous poise in this encounter.
With Hungary on top 44-40, the visitors went on a 21-5 run in the last six minutes of the third quarter to claim a 61-49 lead.
Hungary's Akos Horvath buried a three-ball to reduce the arrears to 61-52 with one quarter to play.
After Shaun Huff's lay-up early in the last period gave Finland a 65-53 advantage, Hungary caught fire and reeled off 15 unanswered points.
Obie Trotter had six points and Akos Keller five in the run that seemed to swing all the momentum Hungary's way.
Finland stopped the bleeding, though, and the teams exchanged leads.
Two Keller free-throws with 2:09 to play knotted the contest at 73-73.
After several misses for both teams, Finland got the ball back after Trotter turned it over with a bad pass.
With the clock winding down at the end, Huff spotted Lee and the 23-year-old center from Uusikaupunki made no mistake with his lay-up.
Veteran point guard Teemu Rannikko led the Finns with 16 points while Lee contributed 14 and Kimmo Muurinen 12.
Horvath led a balanced Hungarian attack with 15 points.
The next game in the AQR will be when Finland host Portugal on Monday.
The top two sides at the end of the AQR will advance to the EuroBasket, which tips off on August 31.