Samara’s Perry On The Marque!


CSK-VVS Samara placed one foot in the next stage of the EuroCup by claiming a thrilling win at Lappeenranta in Qualifying Round action on Tuesday

After coming from behind to beat PAOK last week, Valeriy Tikhonenko's men scraped a 78-76 triumph in Finland to improve to improve to 3-1 in Group A and stay hot on the heels of leaders Tartu University Rock.

Estonians Tartu defeated PAOK 90-80.

Lappeenranta slumped to 1-3 and will now need to win their last two games and hope other results go their way to have a chance of progressing.

Marque Perry's jump shot with nine seconds remaining accounted for the winning points and final score for Samara, who breathed a sigh of relief when Reinar Hallik missed a potential game-tying jumper at the end.

An Alex Scales basket with 2:39 to go in the third quarter had lifted the visitors into a 59-52 advantage, but the Finnish outfit came storming back with Hallik drilling back-to-back three-pointers.

Lappeenranta's leading scorer, Adrian Henning, then added a pair of free throws to give the home side a 60-59 lead heading into the last quarter to bring the home fans to their feet.

The fourth quarter was tight from start to finish with the lead exchanging hands five times.

Samara struck a blow when Sergey Demeshkin drilled a three-pointer for a 75-74 lead just inside the final minute.

After Yaniv Green split a pair of free throws, the excellent Henning came right back and dunked, taking his points haul to a game-high 25 with 26 seconds to go to tie the contest at 76-76.

But Perry won the day for Samara, who face Tartu Rock next time out.

Samara had faced a nine-point deficit in the first half before hitting back to lead in the second quarter.

The teams went to the changing rooms at half-time knotted at 38-38.

Samara held their nerve over the final two quarters to make sure their trip to Lapland was a happy one.

Green had 20 points and eight rebounds to lead the winners.

Samara grabbed 39 boards to just 30 for the home side.

Neither side shot the ball well at the line, with Samara hitting 59% (13 of 22) and Lappeenranta connecting on just 58.8% (10 of 17).

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