CSK-VVS Samara came back from a double-digit deficit to secure qualification from EuroChallenge Group G and end Virtus Bologna's unbeaten run with a 72-70 victory on Tuesday night.
Marque Perry nailed some critical shots on his way to 25 points and a win that ensures Samara, at 3-3, stay above Tartu University Rock in the battle for second place.
Virtus had looked comfortable up 51-41 late in the third-quarter, but a 9-0 run for Samara early in the final quarter set up a tense finale.
Perry brought Samara level at 59-59 with a three-pointer with 6:18 to go and then nailed a jump-shot to put Samara on top.
The teams traded the lead, with Virtus again pulling four clear, 68-64, with Alex Righetti's jump shot 2:12 from time.
But Perry's jump shot was followed by another from Mladjen Sljivancanin that tied it, 68-68 with 1:09 to go.
Perry put Samara on top and Sergey Demeshkin added a pair of free throws to pad the lead.
Petteri Koponen nailed a jump shot with three seconds left, but there was no way back for Virtus, who remain top of the group with a 5-1 record.
Roberto Chiacig led Virtus with 22 points while Keith Langford had 17.
Virgil Stanescu finished with 10 points for Samara.
Boniciolli Matteo, Virtus Head Coach:
"Samara was ready physically very well today. The absence of Boykins and Arnold in our team influenced the strategy of the game today. I feel sad and happy at the same time. Sad because I don't like to loose, and happy because my team fought till the end. Also the lack of concentration in the end influenced the team a lot."
Chiacig Robero, Virtus Player:
"That was a tough game and six minutes until the end we lost our concentration and that became a reason of the defeat."
Tikhonenko Valery, Samara Head Coach:
"We tried to prepare ourselves as best as we could to face Virtus. We played very well with them away in Italy. We knew that Virtus would be ready for the game today and they came here with one aim-to win. My team didn't loose the rebound today. During the time out I tried to wake up the team and fortunately I succeed in this. I count this victory deserved and my team did everything possible in order to participate in the next round."
Perry Marque, Samara Player:
"I don't count myself as the hero because this victory belongs to the team. Everyone did their job very well. In the end I felt the boost of adrenaline and it brought me additional strength."