Galatasaray Survive St. Petersburg Thriller


Spartak threw absolutely everything at Galatasaray in a bid to overturn an 11 point first game deficit in EuroCup Qualifying Round and at one point looked to have done the trick but in a nerve-wracking climax, were just edged out on aggregate by their Turkish opponents.

There were 2,500 fans cheering on the local favourites as they looked to gain revenge for their 69-58 loss in Turkey and with just four minutes left to play, the place erupted when Evgeny Kolesnikov drained a triple to put his team 14 points ahead at 71-57.

It looked like the momentum was firmly with the home team as Galatasaray feared their double-digit lead and place in the EuroCup Regular Season were ebbing away.

However in a terrific finish to the game, they dug deep and held on by their finger nails.

The most crucial score of the game was arguably the three-pointer by Preston Shumpert who converted when his team were trailing 75-64 with just 90 seconds to play.

That gave Galatasaray a much needed boost and plenty of belief although it didn't solve all of their problems as Spartak continued to power their way towards the 12 point win they craved.

After Schumpert free-throws made it 78-70 with just 15 seconds to go, the hosts needed a triple to force overtime but Henry Domercant and Nikola Dragovic both missed their opportunities in the dying seconds to ensure it remained the final score-line.

Having survived by the narrowest of margins, Galatasaray probably haven't felt quite as good after a losing a game and they celebrated knowing they had dodged a serious bullet thanks to some sweet perimeter shooting.

Schumpert was the hero for the visitors with 22 points including four critical triples and particularly since only Ermal Kuqo scraped into double digits with 10 points.