Serbia & Montenegro bounced back from their disappointing fifth place finish at the Efes Cup with an overtime triumph against Italy on the opening day of the Acropolis Tournament.
Zeljko Obradovic's men stormed out to a 42-21 advantage 14 minutes into the contest, only to allow the Azzurri to fight back and level the scores at 68-68 by the end of the third quarter.
At the end of regulation, the game was tied at 80-80 but Obradovic's team pulled away in the extra period.
Sharpshooter Milan Gurovic had 17 points to lead the Serbo-Montenegrins to victory.
Italy lost but coach Carlo Recalcati was encouraged by his team's fightback.
"I am satisfied considering the poor start to the game that we had," said Recalcati.
"Once we have understood our mistakes we have seen a more determined team that perhaps makes big mistakes but is capable of reacting to those errors, knowing that games last 40 minutes or maybe more."
Recalcati rested Gianluca Basile and Gianmarco Pozzecco as the pair are struggling with minor muscular injuries but they should be available to face Germany on Tuesday.
Massimo Bulleri had 18 points and Stefano Mancinelli 14 for Italy, who beat Serbia & Montenegro 79-69 in the Efes Cup before finishing runners-up to Turkey.