CSU Asesoft Ploiesti lost to Spartak St Petersburg on Tuesday 69-68 but still advanced to the EuroChallenge Qualifying Round 2 with a 147-145 victory on aggregate.
Andrew Wisniewski led the way with 20 points for Spartak and he put his team in front for good at 64-62 with a jump shot with 2:54 to go in the contest.
But after losing the first leg in Romania by three, Spartak needed a four-point triumph to win the tie and they came up just short.
Romania international Catalin Burlacu had 25 points and six rebounds for the visitors, who had to sweat until the very end of the game.
The key sequence in the contest happened with 14 seconds remaining.
Spartak's Russia international Zakhar Pashutin, with his team leading by three, missed a lay-up and CSI Asesoft Ploiesti rebounded.
Needing to get the ball back, Spartak tried to come up with the steal but had to foul Darius Hargrove with five seconds remaining.
The American guard made both free throws to cut the deficit in the second leg to just one and leave Spartak needing a three-pointer to win the tie on aggregate, or a two-pointer to force overtime.
With one second left, Belarus international Yahor Meshcharakou got a look from long range but was off target, allowing Ploiesti to advance despite the one-point setback in St Petersburg.
Had Spartak shot better at the free throw line, they would have prevailed overall but they made just 18 of 28 (64.3%) in the game.