Marko Batina's 12 points led Croatia to a 64-58 win over Belarus in Group A of the Ostchem U20 European Championship Men in Izmir.
Belarus, fuelled by a game-high 17 points from Kanstantsin Yafremau, had led until the final moments of the third quarter.
The lead then changed hands frequently until a pair of free-throws from Andrija Stipanovic with seven and a half minutes left gave Croatia the lead for good.
Helping Batina were Stipanovic and Drazen Bubnic, who had nine points each.
The efforts of Kanstantsin Yafremau (12) and Artsiom Parakhouski (11) saw Belarus out-perform Croatia on the boards by 43 to 35, but it was to no avail.