Samara Hand Virtus First Loss To Qualify

13 January 2009

CSK-VVS Samara came back from a double-digit deficit to secure qualification from EuroChallenge Group G and end Virtus Bologna's unbeaten run with a 72-70 victory on Tuesday night.

Marque Perry nailed some critical shots on his way to 25 points and a win that ensures Samara, at 3-3, stay above Tartu University Rock in the battle for second place.

Virtus had looked comfortable up 51-41 late in the third-quarter, but a 9-0 run for Samara early in the final quarter set up a tense finale.

Perry brought Samara level at 59-59 with a three-pointer with 6:18 to go and then nailed a jump-shot to put Samara on top.

The teams traded the lead, with Virtus again pulling four clear, 68-64, with Alex Righetti's jump shot 2:12 from time.

But Perry's jump shot was followed by another from Mladjen Sljivancanin that tied it, 68-68 with 1:09 to go.

Perry put Samara on top and Sergey Demeshkin added a pair of free throws to pad the lead.

Petteri Koponen nailed a jump shot with three seconds left, but there was no way back for Virtus, who remain top of the group with a 5-1 record.

Roberto Chiacig led Virtus with 22 points while Keith Langford had 17.

Virgil Stanescu finished with 10 points for Samara.

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