7DAYS EuroCup Regular Season Round 8: it's crunch time!
The 2017-18 7DAYS EuroCup Regular Season reaches its decisive point. Six teams have already qualified to the Top 16 and five other squads could punch their ticket to the next round in Round 8. Three teams - Darussafaka Istanbul in Group A, FC Bayern Munich in Group B and Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar in Group C - can also clinch first place in their respective groups. A lot will happen, so sit back, relax and enjoy the important games coming up. Three games will be played on Tuesday, followed by nine more on Wednesday.
In a critical game for first place, UNICS Kazan (5-2) hosts Darussafaka Istanbul (6-1) on Wednesday.
Both teams have qualified to the Top 16, but Darussafaka will lock up first place with a win. On the other hand, if UNICS wins, it will draw even with Darussafaka by record and if it does so by more than 9 points – the margin it lost by in Round 3 in Istanbul – UNICS will soar into first. Cedevita Zagreb (4-3) welcomes Morabanc Andorra (2-5) on Wednesday with a chance to qualify with a win. Andorra would not be eliminated with a loss, but its chances to advance would improve dramatically if it takes its first-ever EuroCup road win. Also on Wednesday, Levallois Metropolitans (1-6) visits Fiat Turin (3-4) knowing that a loss would mathematically end its chances to make it to the Top 16. Fiat seeks to put an end to its four-game losing streak.
In an early game on Tuesday, Galatasaray Odeabank Istanbul (2-5) faces Buducnost VOLI Podgorica (4-3).
Buducnost will qualify to the Top 16 with a win, but Galatasaray has won two of its last three games and needs to keep its momentum going. Already-qualified FC Bayern Munich (7-0) welcomes Hapoel Bank Yahav Jerusalem (2-5) on Wednesday with a good chance to clinch first place in the group; if the hosts win or if Galatasaray beats Buducnost, Bayern will be assured a first-place finish. In a pivotal game, Lietkabelis Panevezys (3-4) visits Grissin Bon Reggio Emilia (3-4) on Wednesday. Neither team can qualify this week, but the winner will take a major step toward doing so.
Three teams have qualified to the Top 16 from Group C and are looking to get the best possible position in the standings. Two of them, Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar (7-0) and Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius (4-3) go against each other on Wednesday. Lokomotiv will lock first place in the group if it wins, but can also do it if it loses by less than 7 points and ALBA Berlin loses (5-2) against Limoges CSP (3-4), since it would own all potential tiebreakers in that situation. Limoges can grab the only remaining Top 16 spot from the group if it wins and RETAbet Bilbao Basket (1-6) defeats Partizan NIS Belgrade (1-6). Limoges has already defeated RETAbet twice and would at least clinch fourth place by eliminating RETAbet and Partizan in that scenario. RETAbet will be eliminated if it loses, regardless of other scores.
In one of the closest groups in EuroCup regular season history, Herbalife Gran Canaria (4-3), ASVEL Villeurbanne (4-3), Tofas Bursa (4-3) and Zenit St Petersburg (4-3) all have the same record and Dolomiti Energia Trento (3-4) is not far behind, while ratiopharm Ulm (2-5) sits in a do-or-die situation. The key game in this round takes place in Bursa, Turkey, where Tofas hosts Trento on Wednesday. If Trento wins, no team can qualify in Round 8. If Tofas wins, it would become the first team to make it to the Top 16 from Group D. ASVEL can also qualify, but only if it beats Zenit on Tuesday and gets help from both Tofas and Gran Canaria, who would need to win their games on Wednesday. Gran Canaria takes on Ulm also on Wednesday. A win cannot send Gran Canaria to the next round, but the Spanish powerhouse would be knocking on the door with a win.
Follow the action as it happens LIVE on EuroLeague TV and of course, right here on EuroCupbasketball.com!