BELGRADE, Jan. 30 (Xinhua) -- Serbian Partizan lost 78-77 to Rytas Vilnius in the Round 5 game of the basketball Eurocup on Wednesday, after a dramatic finish depressing home fans who had expected an easy quarterfinal berth.
As runners-up of the Group E, Partizan, whose 6,500 fans at the Aleksandar Nikolic hall dreamed about the quarters, was stunned by the last-ranked team from Lithuania, which marked its second win in this phase of Eurocup.
Rytas Vilnius managed to create a 5-point gap early in the first quarter, which Partizan managed to catch up and overcome at 17-15, with a slam-dunk of Djordje Gagic. However, Rytas Vilnius came on top again thanks to efficient streak of three-pointers by Eimantas Bendzius and ended the first period with a 2-point advantage.
The second quarter marked a record 7-point advantage of the Lithuanian team, but the gap was narrowed to four points before the half-time break.
In the third quarter the guest team achieved a 10-point lead, but Partizan again managed to reduce it thanks to three-pointers of Vanja Marinkovic and attractive points of Jock Landale at 57-60.
However, Artsiom Parakhouski managed to expand the lead of the guests again to 7 points before the final quarter.
Partizan managed to even the score in the fourth quarter through points of Alex Renfroe and Landale at 73-73, while Landale brought Partizan in front just 10 seconds before the final whistle (77-76). However, the hero of the match, Parakouhski scored two seconds before the buzzer for the victory of Rytas Vilnius.
The top scorer of the winning team was Parakhouski with 22 points, followed by Bendzius 21 points. On the other side, Jock Landale scored 14 points for Partizan.
In the last round of the Top 16 phase, Partizan will play against Alba in Berlin, while Rytas Vilnius will play at home against Monaco.
Partizans fans hope that their team will defeat group leader Alba Berlin, where the Serbian team also needs Monaco's defeat in the final round of the Eurocup Top 16 in order to remain second in the group.