Turkey had to work overtime, quite literally, to secure an entertaining 77-74 success against a gutsy Russia on the opening day of Group B action at the U18 European Championship Women.
Pelin Bilgic was the difference maker for the winners. The versatile guard, who finished with 28 points and five steals, could have been forgiven for thinking her work was done when she helped her team move 20 points ahead at 55-35, shortly before the end of the third quarter.
Even Russia must have wondered if the game was gone as it drifted away from them but they posted a truly valiant fight-back in the final quarter to force the extra period.
Picking things up at both ends of the floor, they outscored Turkey 23-7 with their improved defence laying the foundation for better things on offence.
Even when they were down by four points with just 14 seconds left in regulation, Russia didn't know they were beaten as Zhanna Byazrova converted an audacious triple which helped them to subsequently tie 64-64.
But, just as she had done during the first half, Bilgic returned to see her team to the win with seven points in overtime.
Turkey breathed a huge sigh of relief having almost snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.