By Jared Grellet
|Kadir Bayram had 18 points, including the final free-throws and 7 rebounds for Turkey in a breath-taking overtime win over Croatia|
Trailing by 15 points midway through the second quarter, Turkey have fought back to defeat defending champions Croatia 98-95 in overtime at the Dadu U16 European Championship Men.
After 15 minutes it appeared that Croatia were on track to record their first win of the tournament but when Ogulcan Baykan proceeded to hit back-to-back threes, Turkey began to stir and by the half were leading by a point.
In the second half the lead changed hands on 10 occasions with scores tied nine times, including at the end of 40 minutes.
The lead continued to ebb and flow in extra time but the telling moment came with eight seconds remaining when Kadir Bayram sunk a pair from the free-throw line to give Turkey a three point buffer. Some tight defence then denied Croatia the chance to get off a clean shot.
Akif Guven lead the way for Turkey with 24 points whilst Bayram contributed 18.
Marko Arapovic showed why he is rated as a top European prospect, finishing with a 32-point, 13-rebound double-double before fouling out in the last quarter.
Turkey will now look to qualify for the second round as top of group A when they take on Italy, whilst Croatia have everything to play for when they take on the group's other winless team, England.