|Sani Becirovic will get to taste more EuroChallenge action after helping Krka into the Last 16 in his first appearance|
Sani Becirovic scored 12 points on his debut to lift KRKA Novo Mesto into the Last 16 of the EuroChallenge with a 71-61 victory over Tofas SC Bursa.
In a straight fight for second place in Group F, KRKA led from start to finish as former Slovenia international Becirovic delivered on his first appearance for the club, also registering four assists.
Edo Muric pipped him to the team's top-scorer honours with 13 while Zvonko Buljan added 11.
KRKA established their dominance early on with Muric's free throws making it 20-9 with 2:16 to go in the first quarter.
Tofas scored 10 unanswered points to end the first half, closing the gap to 35-32 on Jure Balazic's three-pointer, but KRKA began to pull away again in the second half.
Becirovic's three made it 51-40 with 3:35 to go in the third quarter, and although they briefly got the gap back to four in the fourth quarter, there was no way back for the visitors.
Balazic led Tofas with 17 points while Chinemelu Elonu had 15.
Krka head coach Aleksandar Dzikic
"For us is important to win against such a good team led by a very good coach. It was almost mission impossible for us to keep them on 38% from the field but we did it. 19 assist is season high for us plus we had 42 rebounds. We did a good job in those areas where we want to be good. Those things are not connected with talent. At the end we had a smart, experienced player in Sani Becirovic who closed the game and that's the reason why we brought him. I'm very happy with the win because I know how good Tofas are."
Krka player Chris Booker
"It is a very important win for us. We expected such a though game. Our coach did a great job and prepared us mentally for that. That was the key to our win. We were focused on the game most of the time and although they came back a couple of times, we managed to close the game in our favour."
Tofas head coach Ahmet Caki
"We played a decisive game with Krka like last year in the EuroChallenge, but with a different score at the end. Krka prepared very well for this game and they played as a team. We didn't play good on offence as Krka limited us on to only 61 points. They deserved the win and I congratulate them. It's a shame that we didn't stay in the EuroChallenge because we have some younger players that obtained experience from playing in European competition."
Tofas player Samet Geyik
"I'm sorry that we're out of the EuroChallenge. We couldn't win because simply Krka was the better team tonight."