Krasnye Krylia Samara from Russia defeated Pinar Karsiyaka SK Izmir from Turkey in an epic-comeback 77-76 to capture the 2013 EuroChallenge title.
Krasnye defeated BCM Graveline Dunkerque, while Pinar slugged out a win against EWE Baskets Oldenburg in their respective match-ups in the Semis to set up their Finals meeting.
The home crowd at Izmir was stunned at the final buzzer as Krasnye completed an impressive comeback led by DeJuan Collins’ efforts. Collins, who was quiet in the game’s first half, found his touch from the outside and led the team on a 20-9 run in the third quarter. The ball was also in Collins’ hands as he sank a huge shot to give his team the lead 76-73 with 1:01 left in the game. Krasnye were rewarded for their effort on the glass as they outrebounded Karsiyaka which led to 16 second-chance points.
Krasnye’s Head Coach Sergey Bazarevich shares some of his thoughts after the game:
“It is a special feeling to stay undefeated through the whole season and then play the home team in the final. Even when we were down, I knew that if we stayed patient, we could get through it. Sometimes it is true that you just have to let the players play. I am very proud and happy for my players and the club; Samara needs a basketball boost. Maybe Karsiyaka deserved to win as the hosts, but I believe that we were the best team in the competition and we proved it tonight.”
This was only the second time a team has remained undefeated throughout the EuroChallenge and eventually go on to take the title. That last team to accomplish such a feat was Dynamo St. Petersburg (Russia) in 2005.