Nitzan Yehuda Hanochi led Israel with 15 points against Italy in their Group B encounter on the opening day of the Ostchem U20 European Championship Men in Izmir.
His most important contribution came with just four seconds remaining as Hanochi's lay-up lifted Israel to a 66-64 victory.
The Italians had trailed by as many as 11 points early in the final period but they pulled level with 1:15 to play with a couple of free throws from Brian Sacchetti.
Michele Antonutti then came up with a steal just 49 seconds from the end to give Italy a chance to move in front for the first time since the opening minute of the game, but they could not take advantage.
Iftach Bouchman picked off a bad pass 20 seconds later and after a timeout, Hanochi scored the game-winning points.
Supporting the 1.9m guard Hanochi in the scoring was Jonatan Nir, who had 14 points.
Luca Vitali had a game-high 19 points in defeat for the Italians.