KK Zagreb have endured a season-long struggle in all competitions but they grinded out a victory on Wednesday in their EuroChallenge game against Khimik Yuzhny of Ukraine.
Zelkjo Pavlicevic's team won 88-78 to leave both sides with 1-1 records in Group F.
The Croatian team, playing at home, were fully focused from the opening tip and never trailed in the contest.
They got their noses in front with an early 9-1 run for an 11-3 lead and stayed on top the rest of the way though Khimik pushed them all the way.
Zagreb's biggest advantage in the first quarter was 19-6 and in the second they went in front by 17 before going to half-time with a 49-39 lead.
Ante Tomic had 13 points and Krunoslav Simon nine for Zagreb at the break while Khimik's Sasa Bratic had a game-high 14.
Khimik refused to go away, and three-balls to close the third quarter by Oleksandr Ryabchuk and Olu Famutimi left the visitors trailing just 69-66.
They drew even closer at 71-69 after a three-pointer from Andriy Agafonov nearly two minutes into the fourth quarter.
Neither side scored for nearly three minutes before a Tomic lay-up with 5:23 remaining in the game - his first basket in the second half - restored a four-point advantage for the home side.
Khimik made it 79-76 after a shot from behind the arc by Goran Cakic, and after Andrej Stimac made a lay-up for Zagreb, Bratic dunked to close the gap to 81-78.
Simon scored five straight points in reply, which included a make from three-point land, as Zagreb held on.
Simon led all scorers with 21 points and Luka Zoric added 20 for Zagreb while Bratic poured in 18 for Khimik.
Khimik stayed in the game because of their three-point shooting. They were a scintillating 15 of 29 (51.7%) compared to six of 20 (30%) for Zagreb.
However, Zagreb were 29 of 43 (67.4%) inside the arc compared to 12 of 29 (41.3%) for Khimik.
Denis Bajramović, Zagreb Coach:
"It was easier than we expected. We were hoping for the minimum victory. We played excellently the first half and were ahead by a lot. In the second half we faced problems, which were only logical due to the injuries and illnesses of many players last week. Regarding all the issues I am very satisfied with this victory."
Luka Žorić, Zagreb Player:
"I am very satisfied with the game of the team, and also with what I have showed. This was my best game since I came to Zagreb. It is important that the coach is satisfied and I hope we'll start winning now."
Wykeen Kelly, Khimik Player:
"It was a rough day we are trying to get young players to play. The game started badly for us from the very beginning. The home team had a lot of advantages, we tried to get into the game in the second half but unfortunately we did not make it. Everybody had to play much better to win, including myself.
Dmitriy Bazelevskiy, Khimik Coach:
"It is difficult to explain what has happened. In the second half we played the basketball we wanted to play but it was not enough to win. It was obvious that our young players are not up to this kind of game. The absence of Marton Bader, who is injured, was obvious so we had a lot of problems under the baskets. Although we were close it was not enough to reach the victory."