In Liege, both teams kept their respective records intact as BC FMP gleefully preserved their unbeaten record with an 77-72 success at winless Belgacom Liege who remain rock bottom of Group J with three straight defeats.
|Nemanja Protic was the top-scorer for the Serbian side in the road win|
That is despite a sparkling effort from behind the arc by the home team who made 10 of 16 but couldn't get anywhere near as much joy in the paint.
The home team started slowly and trailed 20-17 behind by the end of the first quarter but started the second period well. By the time Xavier Collette bagged an outside score, they moved 25-23 ahead but things would soon change as FMP took control.
The group leaders outscored the home team 20-10 to lead 43-35 as they left the court for the interval.
With FMP having managed to build up a double-digit advantage at the end of the third period, things looked bleak for the Belgians but with just over three minutes to play, it was a one-shot game at 66-63 after another big triple by Collette.
However this was as close as the home team would get as FMP kept their cool to pull away down the stretch.
As usual it was Adrian Banks who carried the fight for Liege by harvesting 23 points while FMP had a double-double of 10 points and 10 rebounds from the in-form Miroslav Raduljica.
Nemanja Protic top scored for the victorious Serbians with 19 points.
FMP guard Nemanja Protic:
"We were very good defensively tonight, we put a lot of intensity and strength. We've had a little down in the fourth quarter but we were able to win this game thanks to some very important 3pts shoots in the money time".
FMP head coach Durovic:
"It was a very important game for us tonight. We had to win if we wanted to keep the lead in the group. We made a very detailed tactical briefing, especially against Banks and Thomas. But tonight the surprise came from Xavier Collette, we didn't expect him to be at this level, offensively and defensively. But at the end of the game, I am relieved with the win."
Belgacom head coach Gjergja:
"We were not really focused tonight, and when you play against such a team, you pay for it immediately. We have been dominated in the paint and at the rebound. I am happily surprised with Collette, I hope he weel keep playing that way. To talk about FMP, I see them taking part to the Final 4 this year. A very strong team with young guys."
Belgacom forward Josh Duncan:
"We didn't start the game very well. We were not focused on the rebound. But now we need to think about our championship game on saturday at Antwerp."