|Stanley Burell and Royal Hali Gaziantep entered the EuroChallenge in thrilling fashion, beating the reigning champs in double overtime|
Royal Hali Gaziantep stunned Krasnye Krylia in double overtime to hand the EuroChallenge champions their first defeat in the competition since 2011.
Royal Hali, making their debut in the EuroChallenge, scored 19 points in the second overtime alone to overrun a Samara team who began the night looking comfortable but were perhaps too relaxed as the visitors came back at them.
The result ends a run of 17 straight Krasnye victories since their loss to Triumph Lyubertsy in October 2011.
There seemed little to alarm the home fans as they began the night as might be expected against the EuroChallenge rookies, racing into a 17-3 lead barely six minutes into the game.
A three-pointer from Can Ogut late in the first period cut the deficit to 10 and concern began to set in for Krasnye as they kept plugging away to get it to 32-29 on Mutlu Akpinar's three with 4:02 left in the half.
The Red Wings answered that with seven straight and everything seemed to be going according to plan until the fourth quarter, when back-to-back Akpinar threes gave Royal Hali their first lead of the night, 66-64.
That set up an intense scrap down the stretch. Krasnye led 71-70 with 2:12 to go but then missed five straight shots, and were made to pay when Dejan Borovnjak went to the line with the chance to give Gaziantep the lead with 14 seconds left.
He missed his first, but tied it with the second, and after Bracey Wright missed a shot on the buzzer, the game went to overtime.
Royal Hali jumped out to a 75-71 lead but Krasnye Krylia kept calm and the five minutes finished with the scores at 77-77.
The second overtime also saw Royal Hali start strong again with threes from Serkan Erdogan and Ogut, but this time they kept it going with Ogut and Stanley Burell adding further long balls at the finish to put Krasnye away.
Ogut finished with 20 points while Borovnjak had 17 and 11 rebounds.
Wright had 20 points for Krasnye, with Aaron Miles adding 16 with 13 assists. Demetrius Nichols scored 18.
Krasnye Krylia head coach Sergey Bazarevich
"It is hard to comment anything, when the defending champion of the EuroChallenge starts the tournament with a loss. I didn’t really like the way we came out to the game. The advantage we had in the beginning of the game was due to the bad performance of our opponents. Unfortunately we have a limited rotation right now. I have had a bad feeling after the trip to Volgograd – as we didn’t have a proper practice. Our opponent had a rather successful game, while we could manage to do some things."
Krasnye Krylia guard Anton Ponkrashov
"Our gameplan was not to allow free shots for our opponent. In the OTs almost every shot their guards took was an open one. They surprised us with a decent shooting percentage, especially from the three-point line. We didn't expect that."
Gaziantep head coach Aziz Bekir
"I think both teams played at the maximum of what they are capable of right now. Both had pluses and minuses in the game. We started badly, had some turnovers. It was a tough game but we managed to change the course of the game. I think I can congratulate both teams to a good game. I think it was luck in some episodes, though I don’t believe in luck."
Gaziantep forward Dejan Borovnyak
"It was a tough game for us. We fought, it took us a lot of energy but we succeeded. We played well in zone defensively, scored some important shots. I think we could have finished the game earlier but lacked a little."