Virtus Bologna survived a tense finish to become the first team to book their place in the semi-finals of the EuroCup with a 59-54 victory over Turk Telekom on Thursday night.
Having won game one of the series 95-87 on Tuesday, Virtus came from behind in the final quarter to go through without the need of a third game. Virtus had led by as many as nine points in the second quarter but quickly squandered the advantage they had built as Turk Telekom kept it close the rest of the way.
The visitors were ahead 41-37 with 2:12 to go in the third quarter when Derrick Alston made a jump shot, although Ntousan Tsalikis-Vouktsevits then sank a three-pointer for Virtus to cut the margin to one going into the final quarter.
Alston opened the final stanza with a pair of free throws to increase the lead to three, but Virtus responded with a Tsalikis-Vouktsevits lay-up and a Travis Best three-pointer to take the lead. Haluk Yildirim made a three-pointer for Turk Telekom to tie the game at 47-47 with 4:54 left to play, but Virtus never trailed again. Still, they were made to sweat in the final stages.
They led by six, 53-47, with 3:44 to go, but the advantage was whittled away as Jan-Hendrik Jagla made a pair of free throws and, after Best turned the ball over and Christian Drejer was guilty of a foul, Jagla added two more to make it 53-51 with 54 seconds left to go. Vlado Ilievski stretched the advantage back to four with a pair from the charity stripe but it was back to just one point when Yildrim made a three-pointer with 27 seconds left. Muratcan Guler then fouled Best but the American made both of his free throws and when Jagla missed a three-pointer the victory belonged to Virtus.
Drejer led the victors with 15 points and eight rebounds, while Best added 11 and Andrea Michelori had 10 and 12 rebounds. Jagla finished with 13 points and Yildirim had 10 for Turk Telekom.