The Norrköping Dolphins squeaked out a 85-84 home win over Okapi Aalstar in the first leg of the EuroChallenge Qualifying Round in Sweden on Tuesday.
Fred Drains hit a jumper with one second on the clock to claim the smallest of margins for Norrköping heading into the deciding second leg in Belgium on October 5.
Down by as much as 22 in the first half, the Dolphins chipped away at the deficit and managed to get the win down the stretch.
George Gervin scored 22 points for the Dolphins. Joakim Kjellbom tallied 16 points, and Oladapo Ayuba chipped in with 14 points and a game-high 11 rebounds.
Christopher Copeland led Okapi Aalstar with 22 points to go with 9 rebounds, while Anthony Hilliard matched his boards and chipped in 15 points. Anthony Johnson also added 15 points for the visitors.
Following a 33-21 first quarter powered by 7 points from Copeland, Okapi Aalstar went on a 10-0 run at the beginning of the second to take a commanding 43-21 lead.
The Dolphins scraped back to get within 49-40 before Johnson ended the half with a three-pointer for the visitors.
Okapi enjoyed a 66-55 advantage going into the fourth and held onto it till Gervin tied it at 77-77 with a three-pointer with 2:23 to play.
Ayuba made a jumper with 24 seconds left to put the Dolphins up 83-82. Copeland then put Okapi Aalstar back ahead with two foul shot before Drains made the game winner.
The second game will be played in Belgium on October 5.
Okapi Aalstar head coach Brad Dean:
"We played bad in the second half. It was mentally difficult. We had a good chance to return home with a victory. But - we made too many turnovers, had difficulties in our defence and made bad decisions."
Dolphins' head coach Kelly Grant:
"We fought back well, being down 22 and nevertheless making it a victory. But we allowed Okapi to grab too many offensive rebounds in the first half. On the other hand, letting them do only 32 points in the second half is really good. We must build on this and go down to Belgium next week - and win."