CSK-VVS Samara placed one foot in the next stage of the EuroCup by claiming a thrilling win at Lappeenranta in Qualifying Round action on Tuesday
After coming from behind to beat PAOK last week, Valeriy Tikhonenko's men scraped a 78-76 triumph in Finland to improve to improve to 3-1 in Group A and stay hot on the heels of leaders Tartu University Rock.
Estonians Tartu defeated PAOK 90-80.
Lappeenranta slumped to 1-3 and will now need to win their last two games and hope other results go their way to have a chance of progressing.
Marque Perry's jump shot with nine seconds remaining accounted for the winning points and final score for Samara, who breathed a sigh of relief when Reinar Hallik missed a potential game-tying jumper at the end.
An Alex Scales basket with 2:39 to go in the third quarter had lifted the visitors into a 59-52 advantage, but the Finnish outfit came storming back with Hallik drilling back-to-back three-pointers.
Lappeenranta's leading scorer, Adrian Henning, then added a pair of free throws to give the home side a 60-59 lead heading into the last quarter to bring the home fans to their feet.
The fourth quarter was tight from start to finish with the lead exchanging hands five times.
Samara struck a blow when Sergey Demeshkin drilled a three-pointer for a 75-74 lead just inside the final minute.
After Yaniv Green split a pair of free throws, the excellent Henning came right back and dunked, taking his points haul to a game-high 25 with 26 seconds to go to tie the contest at 76-76.
But Perry won the day for Samara, who face Tartu Rock next time out.
Samara had faced a nine-point deficit in the first half before hitting back to lead in the second quarter.
The teams went to the changing rooms at half-time knotted at 38-38.
Samara held their nerve over the final two quarters to make sure their trip to Lapland was a happy one.
Green had 20 points and eight rebounds to lead the winners.
Samara grabbed 39 boards to just 30 for the home side.
Neither side shot the ball well at the line, with Samara hitting 59% (13 of 22) and Lappeenranta connecting on just 58.8% (10 of 17).
Alex Scales, Samara:
"We just came here and play basic basketball. I wasnt worrying about my own statistics at all. It doesnt matter to me, if the team wins. We did our job today and thats it. Two points."
Pasi Riihelä, Lappeenranta:
"I am a very dissapointed after this fight. Still we have to be proud that we played well today. It wasnt enough though and if you look at our shooting % we didnt make a good job with our offense. A couple times we had a good flow but all game we had a little problems to get an easy shots and in defense with their penetrations."
Valeriy Tikhonenko, Samara:
"We saw that Lappeenranta changed their defense to this game. It caused a little bit of a problem to us but still we came back to the game. Both games were pretty much the same, there in Samara and here in Lappeenranta. We have had a tight games all these three victories. And all the time we have make the last long offense shot."
Mika Turunen, Lappeenranta:
"I feel empty, and its hard to explain this feeling. I know that we played a good game but still lose tightly. We slept a few times in defense, and Samara used it every time. If you look at our freethrows we made 10 of 17, you can see a small piece of our consentration problems. But still this was a probably one of the best basketball games in this gym ever!"