|Demonte Harper took over for Tsmoki Minsk, paving the way to victory with 5 points in the last minutes|
Tsmoki Minsk staged a stunning fourth quarter fightback to hand Szolnoki Olaj their first defeat in Group H of the EuroChallenge, 76-68.
The hosts outscored Szolnoki 28-9 in the final period, having trailed by 11 in the closing stages of the third period.
Demonte Harper had 19 points and nine rebounds in the win, with Parrish Petty adding 15 with nine boards.
The two teams had been locked in a tight battle throughout the first half, but Szolnoki began to take control early in the third period, with a 12-1 burst giving them a 59-48 lead when David Vojvoda made a lay-up.
They took that 11-point lead into the fourth quarter but Minsk immediately began chipping away as Petty made three of four from the line.
When Harper sank a three-pointer with six minutes left the gap was 63-59, and Keith Benson Jr's lay-up then cut it to two.
Szolnoki did their best to hold the hard-charging hosts off, but Minsk eventually drew level on a Harper three that made it 66-66 with 2:14 to go.
The teams were tied together once more with 1:34 left, but Minsk grabbed their first lead of the second half when Petty sank a three with 65 seconds left, and he would add another at the death after Branko Mirkovic's lay-up finished Szolnoki off.
Peter Lorant led Szolnoki with 21 points and 12 rebounds, with Vojvoda adding 14.
SZOLNOKI OLAJ player Péter Lóránt
"I don't think that we deserve to lose tonight but this is basketball... this is sport... first of all I want to congratulate Tsmoki-Minsk, they fought till the very end. I think that control of the game is not enough for 36 minutes, they played a deсent game outside and made all important shots at the end."
SZOLNOKI OLAJ head coach Nedeljko Asceric
"I congratulate the head coach of Tsmoki-Minsk and his team to this win. However, I believe that my team also deserved to win today. We played very good basketball today, we were concentrated, we controlled the game. It's difficult to say what happened in the 4th quarter... most likely it's a loss of concentration, just a little, but that was enough. In addition, our new player we signed didn't arrive yet, our best player didn't play, but the biggest problem - we didn't play for 40 minutes! We had good opportunities to score at least six to seven offences but we didn't make the shots, whereas our opponents used every chance! Now we have to go past this tough loss and think about our next game and prepare for it!"
Tsmoki-Minsk player Parrish Petty
"It was a good game against a well-coached team. All sets they played were done at a technically high level. We started out slow but got it together and in the fourth quarter, we started to played a lot more aggressive."
Tsmoki-Minsk head coach Donaldas Kairys
"I'm very happy to win this game, during which, at times, it seemed that we are loosing control. Today we played probably with one of the most experienced teams this season, besides CSKA. I have great respect for the coach Nedeljko Asceric, the way he handles the team and the way his team plays! It's difficult to win against his team in set-play. I'm glad that we could bring some chaos in their game and we were lucky to make important shots at the end, which allowed us to win."