BC Telenet Oostende finished the EuroChallenge on a high with a 94-92 overtime win against Spartak Saint-Petersburg on Sunday at the Sleuyter Arena to seal a third-place finish in the competition.
Having lost in the Belgium Cup Final on Monday in Antwerp to Dexia Mons-Hainaut and also fallen to KRKA Novo Mesto in the EuroChallenge Semi-Finals on Friday, Oostende played for pride and overcame a 33-point performance by Spartak's excellent Henry Domercant with some gritty play down the stretch from their guard Darrel Mitchell.
Trailing 91-90, Mitchell drew a charge from Domercant with 35 seconds to play that forced the scoring machine to the sidelines with his fifth foul.
Domercant complained bitterly that Mitchell had flopped but video replay suggested the referees had got the right call.
Mitchell then popped a three-ball from the left wing to put Oostende in front by two.
Spartak still had time and put the ball in the hands of Anton Ponkrashov, and the Russia international drew a foul as he attacked the basket.
Ponkrashov made the first free-throws missed the second, yet teammate Nikola Dragovic grabbed the offensive rebound and passed to Petar Popovic.
The center missed a shot down low, though, and Will Thomas grabbed the rebound for Oostende and was fouled by Spartak's Miha Zupan, forcing the Slovenian to leave the game with his fifth foul with just 4.4 seconds left.
Thomas, who had 15 points and eight rebounds, missed the first free-throw but made the second and Spartak called a timeout.
Without Domercant, Zupan and Pero Antic, who had also fouled out, Spartak were without three good offensive options.
Ponkrashov inbounded the ball to Dragovic, and the Serbian fumbled it but got it back and launched a turnaround three-pointer from the right wing that didn't come close to hitting the rim.
The final buzzer sounded and Oostende's players and fans celebrated.
Trevor Huffman and Matthew Lojeski had 15 apiece for Oostende, but it was Mitchell who really carried them in the second half.
He did a lot of his damage from the free-throw line, making 12 of 13 attempts.
Domercant made 13 of 14 attempts at the charity stripe and was nine of 17 from the field, including two of four from long range.
Ponkrashov and Antic finished with 13 points each and Dragovic 11 for Spartak.
Antic also had nine rebounds.
Spartak Head Coach Zvi Sherf
"We came here to lift the cup, it's not a secret, we didn't underestimate anybody, at least not me. We end up losing today even the 3rd place in overtime which was nice for the crowd but not for us. We cannot complain about anything, we lost because we played at 70% of our level in the semi-final and today. I am a fighter, and I will force my team to fight too in the Russian league play-offs that we have in front of us."
Spartak player Pero Antic
"It's difficult to talk, because we came with the goal to play in the final and to win the trophy and we finished 4th. We're all very disappointed, congratulations to Oostende. Quite simply, we're not satisfied with how we played, the coach asked us to do some things and we didn't."
Oostende Head Coach Jean Marc Jaumin
"The most important thing is to understand that we started this EuroChallenge season with 64 teams and how much effort we put into finishing in the top four. We lost one game, the semi-final, but we are there. Everybody stepped up and responded after the defeat in the semi-final. Everybody else had a lot of time to prepare for the Final Four and we had only one day in reality, since we had to play on Monday for the Belgian Cup final and on Wednesday for the league."
Oostende player Matt Lojeski
"It was a tough game, I am proud of how everybody from the team contributed after we had so many disappointments this week, it's a good feeling to at least win and get the 3rd place for the home crowd."