|Timofey Yakushin dished out five assists as Russia claimed an important win over Belgium|
Russia used a huge fourth quarter run to get out of trouble and consign winless Belgium to a hard-luck loss and the classification games at the U16 European Championship Men.
Kyiv's Sports Palace was treated to an intense battle in which the teams were never separated by more than seven points during the first three quarters.
It was Belgium who appeared to have made the decisive break when Thomas Akyazili's three-pointer gave them a 49-40 lead early in the fourth quarter.
But just as quickly as they built the lead they let it slip away and more, with Russia capitalising on turnovers and missed free throws to score 10 unanswered points.
Belgium called time-out and drew up a play which ended in a lay-up for Roby Rogiers, but it only stemmed the bleeding temporarily as Russia scored another eight straight to go 57-51 up on Ilya Karpenkov's free throws.
Last year's Division B champions kept scrapping and when Mohamed Riahi hit three free throws with 80 seconds left they were back within one, 59-58.
As the teams traded baskets a three-point play from Karpenkov gave Russia a little breathing space but they decisive play came with 20 seconds to go.
Down by two, Belgium got a break when Akyazili stole the ball from Timofey Yakushin in mid-court and set off racing for the basket.
But his lay-up was off target under pressure and as Belgium appealed for a whistle that did not come, Russia went to the other end where Andrey Sopin drew a foul and sank his free throws for a four-point lead with nine seconds left.
Karpenkov led Russia with 21 points and 13 rebounds, while Dmitrii Cheburkin had 11.
Akyazili had 21 points for Belgium while Rahi and Sigfredo Casero each contributed 10 points.
Russia, winless before this game, now advance to the second round while Belgium will fight for a favourable position in classification round Group G.