Liege BC drew first blood in their EuroChallenge Qualifying Round 1 tie with Bakken Bears on Monday with a 67-55 victory in Denmark.
But they will not be a celebratory mood after allowing the Bears to claw back a deficit that was once 22 points to just 12 by the end of the game.
The Bears trailed 61-39 with 6:23 to go and were still behind at 63-43 with 4:07 remaining but continued to fight to give themselves a glimmer of hope when the second leg is played in Belgium.
Jerald Fields had 18 points and Justin Cage 16 for Liege, who held Bakken to 20 of 56 (35.7%) shooting inside the arc.
Liege hit 21 of 42 (50%) of their own shots from two-point range.
The Belgians got their noses in front for good late in the first quarter.
The game was knotted at 11-11 when Cage buried a three-pointer and followed that up with a lay-up before Christopher Hill drilled a three.
After Eric Poole split a pair of free throws 1:18 into the second quarter, Liege had a 20-11 advantage and they stayed on top the rest of the way.
Chris Christoffersen had 21 points and 11 rebounds in defeat for Bakken.