|Daniel Dillon led the charge for Oradea with 16 points|
CSM Oradea rounded off their EuroChallenge debut campaign in style as they edged out Royal Hali Gaziantep 73-71.
Although Oradea's door to the next round was already closed, they fought hard to take a win that gives them the best record of all those making their EuroChallenge debut this season at 3-3.
And it was a hard fight in a game that saw seven lead changes and 13 ties, the teams never separated by more than seven points.
Gaziantep had a 65-62 lead going into the final two minutes after a three-pointer from Mutlu Akpinar, but Oradea hit back with six straight points, going up 68-65 when Vujadin Subotic hit a pair of free throws 42 seconds from time.
Domen Lorbek's jumper cut the deficit to one but William Franklin padded the lead to the line with two shots, and then Lorbek could only split a pair to leave Gaziantep trailing by two with 16 seconds left and the ball in Oradea hands.
Franklin again got himself to the line where he sank two shots to make it 72-68.
Stanley Burrell cut the gap back to two with nine seconds left but after Franklin split a pair, Burrell could only do the same and time ran out on Gaziantep.
Daniel Dillon led Oradea with 16 points with Sean Denison adding 15 and Subotic 11.
Oliver Stevic had 18 points and Lorbek added 15 in losing efforts.
Gaziantep player Domen Lorbek
"First of all I want to congratulate our opponent, Oradea, for this victory. It was a difficult game for us. It didn't mean anything for us, but still we wanted to win the game. We had big problems in one on one, especially in the beggining of the third quarter. They had some luck, better concentration and took the game away from us."
Gaziantep head coach Jure Zdovc
"I want to congratulate the players and the coach from Oradea. They played a good game. Oradea have a good team, a good roster and I am very happy to see Romanian basketball grow so much. I think this is good for everyone. We definitely tried to win. I must say we did everything to win it. On the other hand we gave some important minutes to some of the players that didn't play so much in the previous games and also to Domen (Lorbek), who is a new player to this team. We also wanted to rest some players because we have important games in the Turkish league. There is no rule in basketball that will give you the victory if you play with a full roster. Still, I think if this would have been a decisive game we would have played different. I am happy nobody got injured. Also I want to wish good luck to Oradea in the Romanian league."
Oradea player Daniel Dillon
"I think we played with a lot of energy. We won this game with fighting. Our opponent played also extremely though. I think it was a very important game for us to win because we had to get out of the competition on a high note. For us to win three games in this competition, even though this game didn't make us go through it is important for the club and for the future of the club. I felt like I played good tonight. I had a lot of energy and tried to use it by helping where it was needed. I tried to use it on defense and get a couple of stops. I tried to push to ball so we could play a little faster."
Oradea head coach Cristian Achim
"Even though it wasn't a very important game for neither of the two teams, both of them did show a lot of will to win. I told my players that a game in EuroChallenge must always be an honour and these games remain important international highlights of their careers and fortunately we were able to get the win. I think we had good energy during the game. The Turkish team played a lot better than in our previous meeting and a lot different. Even though they have only one change in the roster (Domen Lorbek), Gaziantep is showing something else entirely. I am very happy that we won this game because Gaziantep is a very good team, with individual value, a good coach and until this moment we are the only team that succeeded to beat them, not once, but twice. It is an important win. This win has a huge price, because we lost one of our best players in Sean Denison, through injury."