Portugal put their nightmare start to EuroBasket 2009 qualifying behind them and won 60-54 at Estonia on Saturday.
But Portuguese coach Moncho Lopez will know his team should have won by a far bigger margin after leading by 22 points late in the third quarter.
Because Estonia won in Portugal by nine, they will finish higher in Group B should the two teams finish with identical records.
The good news for the Portuguese, who made a surprising run to last year's EuroBasket in Spain, is that they finally tasted victory.
After Estonia reeled off six straight points to trail 23-20, Portugal answered with seven consecutive of their own.
Paulo Cunha hit a three-pointer, Elvis Evora followed with a jumper and Cunha finished the run with a dunk for a 30-20 advantage.
Cunha had 11 points as Portugal went to the changing rooms in front at 32-24.
Portugal then held Estonia without a basket for the first seven minutes of the third quarter and opened a 46-24 advantage.
The Estonians didn't win, but did manage to cut into the huge deficit over the last 10 minutes to lose by just six.
Cunha had 21 points to lead all scorers. He was the only Portuguese to finish in double figures.
Estonia were just 11 of 25 (44%) inside the arc, six of 23 (26%) behind it and 14 of 21 (66.6%) at the free throw line.
Portugal were 14 of 23 (60.8%) from two-point range and eight of 32 (25%) on their three-point attempts.
At the line, they were eight of 12 (66.6%).