Turning Point: Pero Antic came up with the both all-important defensive rebounds in the last few seconds to seal the win for F.Y.R. of Macedonia.
Game Heroes: Antic didn't have his greatest shooting night but it was fitting that the captain helped his team book their spot in Vilnius with a double-double of 14 points and a stunning 19 rebounds.
Stats Don't Lie: F.Y.R. of Macedonia won the battle of the boards 44-34 and down the stretch, this was vital.
An inspirational performance by captain Pero Antic helped F.Y.R. of Macedonia become the first team in Group C to progress to Round 2.
Having already despatched group favourites Croatia and Greece, F.Y.R. of Macedonia made it three in a row as they reached the second phase of a EuroBasket Final Round for the second time in a row.
A beaming Antic was thrilled after the game and dedicated another victory to the supporters.
He said: "I just want to congratulate my fellow players and to thank the fans so much for their support. They really are our sixth player.
"We are tired but we gave a lot of heart."
That is something which not only summed up his own team but also gallant losers Finland who gave everything but just couldn't find the offensive composure to get the job done at the business end of the game.
There was little between them throughout a gripping encounter and it boiled down to the closing seconds.
With the Finns down one, Kimmo Muurinen drove to the basket with nine seconds remaining and missed as Antic threw himself in mid-air to take the rebound.
After two Bo McCalebb free-throws, Finland needed a triple to tie but F.Y.R. of Macedonia fouled and as Petteri Koponen deliberately missed his second foul shot, the man of the moment Antic was there yet again to help see the game out.