|BK Ventspils, down by 7 points 30 seconds from the end of regulation, earned an incredible overtime win and a ticket to the quarter-finals |
The EuroChallenge Quarter-Final Round pairings were decided on Tuesday night, following a thrilling final round of action in the Last 16.
Group J is the one that perhaps better reflects just how narrow the gap between success and failure can be.
All four teams finished with a 3-3 record but Szolnoki Olaj can consider themselves the big winners since they edged Telekom Baskets, 96-94, to follow Elan Chalon in the final eight.
Drama was in high supply also in Group I, where BK Ventspils came from behind to snatch an improbable victory over Roanne Basket in overtime, 94-92.
The Latvians topped the group, while EWE Baskets' unexpected defeat at ZZ Leiden meant that Roanne, despite the loss, followed them to the quarter-finals.
A triumph against all odds is exactly what Triumph Lyubersty achieved in Group L.
Having lost all three games in the first round of the Last 16, the Russians rounded off a historic fight back with their win over Antwerp Giants to leave both the Belgian side and Pinar Karsiyaka out of the quarter-finals.
The Turkish team held their fortunes in their hands but could not prevail over group winners Artland Dragons in the last game of the night.
In Group K, Mad-Croc Fuenlabrada escaped from Istanbul with a famous victory over Besiktas Milangaz in the battle for Group K supremacy to stay unbeaten and enter the quarter-finals as the top-ranked team.
The quarter-final play-offs (best of three series) begin on 13th March. The second games will be played on 15th March and the third games (if needed) on 20th March.
The EuroChallenge Final Four is scheduled for 27-29 April in a venue to be decided after the conclusion of the Quarter-Final Round.
Quarter-Final Round Pairings
(I1) BK Ventspils vs. (J2) Szolnoki Olaj
(J1) Elan Chalon vs. (I2) Chorale Roanne
(K1) Mad-Croc Fuenlabrada vs. (L2) Triumph Lyubertsy
(L1) Artland Dragons vs. (K2) Besiktas Milangaz