By Gabriel Tan at the Clementi Stadium
The Serbian striker helped his side take the lead in the 15th minute when he applied the finishing touches to a terrific team move, only for Balestier to hit back ten minutes later through a Ruhaizad Ismail strike.
However, the hosts were always in control and went back in front in the 34th minute when Jamil Ali poked home a rebound from close range, before Hadzibulic put the result beyond doubt 20 minutes from time when he grabbed his second with a firm header from six yards out.
Plenty of talk before the game had been centred on how the Stags strike duo of Hadzibulic and Aleksandar Duric would be able to deal with the close attentions of Balestier centre-backs Paul Cunningham and Goran Subara, who have helped their side to the best defensive record in the competition so far.
And just three minutes in, it was Tampines who drew first blood when Duric released Jamil Ali down the right with a lovely flick, who proceeded to whip in a good ball for Hadzibulic to fire home.
12 minutes later, the goalscorer nearly turned provider when he dinked a clever ball over the top for Duric, who fired a snapshot just wide of the far post, before the Tampines captain came close again a couple of minutes later with a half-volley that was well stopped by Zakariah Nerani.
Despite the hosts' strong start, Balestier gradually got into the groove of things and five minutes before the half-hour mark, they levelled matters with their first real chance of the match when Ruhaizad met a cross from Zulkiffli Hassim with a first-time volley that had just enough power to squirm under the body of Sasa Dreven.
Six minutes later, Zulkiffli had a chance of his own when he picked up the ball inside the area after Anaz Hadee had misjudged a ball over the top, but the winger took too long to get his shot away and was eventually crowded out by the recovering Stags defenders.
And that missed chance proved costly when Tampines reclaimed the lead in the 34th minute courtesy of Jamil, who was on hand to poke home from close range after Benoit Croissant's fierce header had been cleared off the line.
Three minutes after the break, the pacy Zulkiffli, who gave the home backline problems all evening long, nearly raced through on goal again from a terrific through-ball from Park Kang-jin, although Dreven was quick off his line to clear the danger.
Park then split the Tampines defence wide open again in the 53rd minute with another cultured ball over the top and this time, Dreven was caught in no man's land as Ruhaizad lobbed a ball over him and towards the unguarded net. Thankfully for the Croatian keeper, Ismadi was alert enough to race back and hack the ball away from under his crossbar.
With their lead looking increasingly at risk, the Stags began to push forward in search of a killer blow, which duly arrived in the 70th minute when the evergreen Ahmad Latiff burst past Subara down the right, before floating the perfect ball onto the head of Hadzibulic, who made no mistake from six yards out.
The 29-year-old, who was only playing his second game since moving to the Clementi Stadium in mid-season, was really starting to show his quality and he nearly came close to providing an assist in the 82nd minute when he danced past two challenges in the middle of the park and sent Duric through with a brilliant pass with the outside of his foot. Unfortunately for the hosts, Duric was unable to add a fourth as he was denied by a smart save from Zakariah.
Now desperately needing to score if they were to salvage anything from the game, Balestier began to push more men forward and were presented a good chance four minutes from time when Cunningham flicked on a header into the path of substitute Patrick Paranjody, who could only fire a low strike straight at Dreven.
Deep into injury-time, the visitors did manage to get the ball into the back of the net when Cunningham once again put his aerial strength to good use by outjumping Dreven before lashing home the loose ball but this time, they were denied by the whistle as referee Abdul Malik Bashir called for a foul on the Stags custodian.
Ultimately, it mattered little as Tampines held on to a deserving win that sees them pull level with DPMM FC at the top of the table, after the league leaders suffered a 2-1 loss at the hands of SAFFC.
Tampines Rovers: Sasa Dreven, Anaz Hadee, Mustafic Fahrudin, Benoit Croissant, Imran Sahib, Gligor Gligorov (Ahmed Fahmie 45'), Ahmad Latiff Khamarudin, Ismadi Mukhtar (Jufri Taha 88'), Jamil Ali (Sazali Salleh 77'), Sead Hadzibulic, Aleksandar Duric.
Balestier Khalsa: Zakariah Nerani, Jaslee Hatta (Yusiskandar Yusop 52'), Goran Subara, Paul Cunningham, Hamqaamal Shah, Shafuan Sutomoh (Patrick Paranjody 79'), Tengku Mushadad, Park Kang-jin, Ruhaizad Ismail (Poh Yi Feng 73'), Zulkiffli Hassim, Zdravko Dragicevic.