A strong second half saw BC FMP Belgrade march into the EuroChallenge Quarter-Final Round with a comprehensive 81-55 victory against Belgacom Liege.
Led by 17 points apiece from Nemanja Protic and Miroslav Raduljica, the home side outscored the Belgians 45-22 in the second half to wrap up second spot in Group J.
Protic hit 15 points in the first half, while Raduljica also had nine rebounds and four assists.
Liege were led by eight points apiece from Adrian Banks, Michael Green and Andrija Stipanovic.
FMP started well with a Protic three-pointer, but the visitors stayed in touch throughout the first period and a pair of Josh Duncan free-throws kept the hosts' lead down to 22-18 at the first break.
That lead grew to seven after 90 seconds of the second period following a Pedja Samardzski dunk, and a Mladen Jeremic lay-up put them 32-21 ahead with 5:47 on the clock.
However, despite already being eliminated from the competition, Liege fought back, and a Xavier Collete trey launched an 8-2 run, and with Duncan scoring a lay-up, FMP's lead was only 36-33 at half-time.
Any thoughts of an upset were dispelled at the start of the third period as four Raduljica points launched a 9-0 run, and a 7-0 tear quickly followed as the home side went into the final break with a 64-43 lead.
That lead never dipped below 20 in the final period, and the win was punctuated with a Papac trey as FMP stormed into the last eight.
DARIO DJERDJA, BELGACOM LIEGE HEAD COACH:
"Congratulations to FMP for getting to the Quarter-Final Round. I hope that they will qualify for the Final Four. I have many friends in this club; it is known that we in Zadar are very sensitive when it comes to Vlade Djurovic. We came to Belgrade without any chance for passing to the Quarter-Finals and I wanted to rotate as many players as I could."
ANDRIJA STIPANOVIC, BELGACOM PLAYER:
"Congratulations to FMP for qualifying to the next round. We lost our chances at home. However, we should have given more effort at today's game."
VLADE DJUROVIC, BC FMP COACH:
"We succeeded in completing our goal. Many people doubted that we would qualify for the Quarter-Finals; honestly at the start of EuroChallenge I wasn't optimistic about passing to the Quarter-Finals. In this competition there are many teams with a good quality."
DEJAN MUSLI, BC FMP PLAYER:
"We managed to correct our mistakes compared to the previous game against Zagreb . It is an important victory which takes us to the next round of EuroChallenge."