|Man of the moment - An Emir Preldzic three-pointer with seven seconds left on the clock gave Turkey the win|
Turkey's young side were taken to the wire by a battling Belarus in a thrilling start to their EuroBasket qualifying campaign on Saturday.
Emir Preldzic hit a three-pointer with seven seconds left to break a tie and give Turkey a hard-fought win.
Belarus stuck to Turkey like glue in the first half as the teams were tied at 36-36 at the break.
Turkey looked to be in control when they built a double-digit lead in the third quarter, but Belarus came storming back to set up a great finish.
After Preldzic's bomb, Turkey still needed to block Yahor Meshcharakou's hail mary at the death to avoid overtime.
Turkey, shorn of so many of the star names of EuroBasket 2011 and the silver-medal winning team of the 2010 FIBA World Championship, looked like they had built a winning margin when they reeled off a 12-1 run in the third quarter, leading 52-41 on Ilkan Karaman's dunk.
The lead was 60-48 going into the fourth quarter, but Belarus then came storming back.
From 63-52 down, they went on a 10-0 run to make it a one-point game on Pavel Ulyanko's three-pointer with 6:14 left in the game.
Turkey edged narrowly back in front, but it was tied 69-69 with 2:57 to go, and level again at 72-72 with 63 ticks left on the clock.
Semih Erden put Turkey back in front, but a lay-up from Aliaksandr Kudrautsau levelled it once more with eight seconds left.
Turkey called time-out and the play worked as Preldzic drilled the three with two seconds left.
Belarus called timeout themselves to try one last roll of the dice but Erden made the block.
Erden led Turkey with 20 points while Preldzic had 14, Sinan Guler 11 and Ender Arslan 10.
Kudrautsau led Belarus with 21 points and Ulyanko had 16.
Belarus Head Coach Andrei Krivonos
"We fought hard. It was our second game in the qualifiers and we showed that we are a good team. Because of a lack of concentration we fell behind, then found a way to close the gap, but Turkey won with a last-second shot."
Turkey Head Coach Bogdan Tanjevic
"We faced a very well-prepared team and were a little bit surprised by their start to the game. In the third period we were up by 12 and my players thought that we won the game, but Belarus fought back. Nevertheless, I am happy with this win which came from a clutch three-pointer. Now we will get ready to face Italy."
Belarus player Artsiom Parakhouski
"Congratulations to Turkey. They have a lot of experienced players, some of them play in the Euroleague, some in the NBA. We played well but lost our energy in the third quarter. We managed to come back in the fourth but unfortunately the last shot went in and we lost."
Turkey player Serhat Çetin
"Winning the first game is important for us. It was hard but we are happy. Our young players were excited and we made some mistakes. We played well in the third period but repeated the same mistakes in the fourth quarter. In the end we won and I believe we will play harder against Italy."