|Steven Burtt's 20 points came in handy as Tofas clinched their Last 16 spot in thrilling fashion|
A late KRKA rally fell agonisingly short as they lost out to Tofas 72-70 in the head-to-head battle for second place in Group A and a spot in the Last 16 of the EuroChallenge.
Tofas hung on at the finish to follow Pinar Karsiyaka into the next round.
Tofas had taken their biggest lead of the game, 68-58, with three and a half minutes left to play as Steven Burtt hit a pair of a free throws and after Jure Lalic and Tomislav Ruzic each split free throws, KRKA were still facing a 10-point deficit with 2:51 left to play.
Lalic went back to the line and hit both throws and, after Kenan Sipahi split another pair for the visitors, Marko Pajic made a lay-up and Jakov Vladovic completed a three-point play from the line to bring KRKA within four, 82 seconds from the buzzer.
With the tension rising, Austin Nichols could only split further free throws for Tofas, and Jaka Klobucar replied with a lay-up that made it a three-point game.
The free throw misses were catching for Tofas with Joshua Heytvelt the next to only make one of two, and that allowed Klobucar to slice the gap to two with two foul shots of his own.
When Heytvelt turned the ball over with 29 seconds left, KRKA had their chance, but Klobucar missed a lay-up and Uros Lucic missed a jumper and it slipped away.
Burtt led Tofas with 20 points while Nichols added 15. Ruzic and Heytvelt each collected 13 points, Heytvelt adding nine rebounds.
Domen Lorbek had 13 points for KRKA, with Vladovic, Pajic, and Lucic adding 11 apiece and Lalic 10.