Dexia lost for the second week in a row when falling at Cherkaski Mavpy on Tuesday, but they did just enough to secure their passage into the EuroCup Quarter-Final Round.
Chris Finch's Dexia (3-2), who lost to Ural Great last time out, won their first encounter against Mavpy (2-
|Darren McLinton had 11 points for Cherkaski Mavpy, but it was not enough.|
Both teams could finish with 3-3 records by the end of group play, but the goal differential of +1 for Dexia gives them the advantage in the tie-breaker if needed.
How close were Mavpy to taking the advantage in a tie-breaker?
With 56 seconds remaining, Martynas Andriukaitis, who scored a game-high 29 points, made a pair of free throws for a 75-70 Mavpy lead, leaving the goal differential even over the two games between the sides.
Then with 31 seconds to go, mid-season pick-up Darren McLinton made one of two at the line for a 76-70 advantage.
With 12 seconds to go, however, Travis Conlan fed Ben Ebong who scored a lay-up to cut the game deficit to 76-72 and put Dexia back in front on the tie-breaker, but Mavpy still had time.
Four seconds from the end, though, power forward Gjorgij Chekovski attempted a shot from three-point range that missed, and Conlan pulled down the rebound.
Dexia lost the game, but held on to the decisive tie-break advantage.
Great Britain international Andrew Sullivan led Dexia with 23 points and eight rebounds.
Chris Finch, Dexia coach:
Q: Did you have any information about Cherkaski Mavpy and did you expect to have such a difficult game?
A: Well, we knew about them because we played just a couple of weeks ago. We knew they've made changes and coaching changes. They are a much better team than we faced several weeks ago. We lost the game but we qualify to the next round which is the most important at this stage.
Q: Do you have any particular goals for this eurocup season?
A: Our first task is to try to win against Perm next week and finish on top of the group which is important for us. We feel comfortable wherever we are to play but obviously we would like to play at home. So, that is what we focus on now.
Q: You did not let Yarutis make 3-point shots. Was it a special tactics or just a very careful guarding?
A: Well, we knew that he is a very important player. And I think we did a really good job at guarding him, as well as we did a really good job at taking away Edwards.
Andrew Sullivan, Dexia:
Q: How can you compare today's game and the game in Belgium?
A: Like the coach said this is a better team than we played a couple of week ago. They shot the ball more. I can say that it is a much better team than we played initially.
Jovica Arsic, Mavpy Coach
Q: Who was to make a shot during the last five seconds?
A: I asked the two small guys either McLinton or Jarutis try to penetrate inside. Well, Jarutis made a step back which is not a good solution. But I still accept it.
Q: Why did not you let Andriukaitis make the final shot? He seemed to catch his game.
A: It is difficult to decide in five second who will make the final shot. His day was today. The other thing is his main quality is not playing one on one. For this situation one must have pointguard who will penetrate the inside.