BC Siauliai saw their hopes of progressing from EuroChallenge Group D dashed on Tuesday night despite a dramatic 82-80 win over group leaders EiffelTowers.
An 85-77 victory for Proteas EKA AEL over Allianz Swans in the night's late game saw Siauliai relegated to third place in a group despite them sharing a 4-2 record with Proteas and EiffelTowers.
Siauliai began the day in third place and knew they had to win this game to have any chance of going through, but EiffelTowers fought all the way despite already having secured first place in the group.
Siauliai appeared to be building a when Stefhon Hannah's lay-up made it 78-72 with 4:07 to go, but back-to-back jump shots from Anthony Richardson had EiffelTowers right back in the mix.
Mindaugas Kuzminskas made it 80-76 with 2:25 to go, and although Devonne Giles responded with a jump shot, Siauliai's lead was back to four, 82-78, when Andrius Slezas hit a jumper 33 seconds from time.
There was still time for Giles to take his tally to 21 points with a late jump shot, but there was no way back for the visitors.
Slezas finished with 25 points for the visitors while Gintaras Kadziulis had 17 and Kuzminskas collected 16 points and 12 rebounds.
Richardson had 18 points and Kees Akerboom 16 for EiffelTowers.
Slezas Andrius, Siauliai Player:
"We were stopped because some players lack experience playing in Europe. There were some momets when we could go ahead but we missed some important shots. Our game is getting better so it's a pity if we loose the chance to play in the next round."
Don Beck, Eiffel Towers Head Coach:
"We lost the game but our goal is reached, so I am happy. The game was difficult for me because I have been working with the team only for a few days and I don't know the players well."
Antony Richardson, Eiffel Towers Player:
"Siauliai is a very good team so I am happy we didn't lose by more points."
Sireika Antanas, Siauliai Head Coach:
"If we din't win by the points we needed it means we couldn't do that. We won against a very experienced team but the luck wasn't on our side so we need to wait for the result in Austria."