CSU Asesoft Ploiesti lost to Spartak St Petersburg on Tuesday 69-68 but still advanced to the EuroChallenge Qualifying Round 2 with a 147-145 victory on aggregate.
Andrew Wisniewski led the way with 20 points for Spartak and he put his team in front for good at 64-62 with a jump shot with 2:54 to go in the contest.
But after losing the first leg in Romania by three, Spartak needed a four-point triumph to win the tie and they came up just short.
Romania international Catalin Burlacu had 25 points and six rebounds for the visitors, who had to sweat until the very end of the game.
The key sequence in the contest happened with 14 seconds remaining.
Spartak's Russia international Zakhar Pashutin, with his team leading by three, missed a lay-up and CSI Asesoft Ploiesti rebounded.
Needing to get the ball back, Spartak tried to come up with the steal but had to foul Darius Hargrove with five seconds remaining.
The American guard made both free throws to cut the deficit in the second leg to just one and leave Spartak needing a three-pointer to win the tie on aggregate, or a two-pointer to force overtime.
With one second left, Belarus international Yahor Meshcharakou got a look from long range but was off target, allowing Ploiesti to advance despite the one-point setback in St Petersburg.
Had Spartak shot better at the free throw line, they would have prevailed overall but they made just 18 of 28 (64.3%) in the game.
Milovan Rakovic, player BC Spartak:
"I don't know what to say. We played not bad and won. But we didn't win overall. Now we should try to play well and win our games in the national League and in the Russian Cup."
Evgeny Pashutin, coach of BC Spartak:
"It was good game. I want to congratulate our rivals. We couldn't stop Burlacu from Asesoft. Milovan could do this but I changed him and it was my mistake. We prepared for the game but we permitted our rivals to lead in the beginning. And then it became difficult to close the gap and take the lead. I want to say thanks to my players. They showed character. The result is my fault."
Catalin Burlacu, player CSU Asesoft Ploiesti:
"I respect Russian basketball and Russian clubs. I know how many investments are now in Russia in this sport. But wee weren't scared of Spartak. We knew we could play and win. We believe in ourselves. The three points difference after the first game was too small of an advantage. We had to play good also here, in St.Petersburg. Spartak is the best team we ever played. And our participation in the next round of the competition is success for us. We continue to have good results."
Vladimir Arnautovic, coach CSU Asesoft Ploiesti:
"We did a great job. Our rivals were very good and we knew we had to play well because the difference from the first leg wasn't big. First of all we thought about ourselves. We prepared for this game for some days and we certainly focused on Spartak and their players. But we certainly focused more on our players and their game. They understood that they could win."