Estonia's Valmo Kriisa had a game that he will never forget.
He scored five points in the game's final four seconds to lift his side to a dramatic 78-77 win over Croatia.
Estonia won their second game out of six and handed Croatia their first loss of the EuroBasket Qualifying Round.
Kriisa, who entered play averaging 9.2 ppg, scored seven of his 23 points in game’s final 25 seconds.
His free throws at the 25-second mark cut Croatia’s lead to 75-73.
|Tanel Tein scored 26 points for Estonia.|
Davor Kus' free-throw with 13 seconds remaining in the game put Croatia ahead 77-73.
With a traditional two-possession lead, Croatia seemed to have their sixth win in the bag, but Kriisa came up with amazing plays to pull off the improbable victory.
Estonia’s Tanel Tein found Kriisa, who drilled a three as he was fouled by Branimir Longin with four seconds remaining.
Kriisa made the ensuing game-tying free throw and then picked off Damir Miljkovic’s bad pass.
Marko Tomas fouled Kriisa, sending him to the line with two seconds to go in the game.
Kriisa capped his remarkable performance by hitting one of two free throws to put Latvia ahead 78-77 and Croatia couldn’t get off a potential game-winning shot before the final buzzer sounded.
Croatia, which had won four of their five games by double-digits, knew early they would be in for a challenge on Estonia’s home-court.
The hosts jumped out to a 25-12 and led the entire first half.
Croatia finally gained the lead courtesy of a 12-3 run to close the third quarter, which set the stage for the dramatic finish.
Lost in Estonia’s win was Tein’s 26 points on 8-of-15 shooting from the field. He entered play averaging a shade above nine points.
Despite their loss, Croatia qualifies for EuroBasket 2007. They had wrapped up their berth after a win on Wednesday night.
Estonia, with two wins, will have to earn a berth through the Additional Qualifying Round.