Rytas is in a good situation to qualify to the next round, even though it cannot mathematically reach the Top 16 this week. Dominique Sutton (12.8 ppg.) has been its best scorer until now, followed by D.J. Seeley (12.2 ppg.) and Eimantas Bendzius (10 ppg.). UNICS is the only team that has qualified to the Top 16 so far in the 2018-19 7DAYS EuroCup and wants to keep its momentum going. Raymar Morgan (15.4 ppg.) and Maurice Ndour (13.7 ppg.) have been its main frontcourt pillars, creating space for sharpshooter Jamar Smith (12.8 ppg.). Expect a big game in this battle between former EuroCup champions.
Earlier this season
UNICS defeated Rytas 86-73 in Kazan in Round 2. Rytas trailed 63-59 with eight minutes left, but UNICS took off and sealed the outcome long before the final buzzer. Smith led the winners with 19 points. Maksim Sheleketo added 15 while Deividas Sirvydis led Rytas with 17.
Sutton is a powerful undersized forward who likes to use his physicality in the paint. UNICS has the
muscle required to battle him in the low post, as both Ndour and Morgan will take turns to guard him. Morgan did not play in the game in Kazan and will be extra motivated in this matchup between two of the best big men in the EuroCup this season.
Keys to victory: UNICS
UNICS has a deeper roster and must make the most out of it, playing with high intensity and great aggressiveness. It can be seen in the stats, as UNICS leads the EuroCup in rebounding (38.3 rpg.) and is second in steals (9.17 spg.). Errick McCollum and Pierria Henry must set the right game tempo, as UNICS likes to play in transition and run the floor.
Keys to victory: Rytas
Rytas is struggling to find good shots inside the arc, hitting 49.8% two-point shots. It will need to raise those numbers by playing with patience, using five-on-five offense and a quick defensive balance to prevent UNICS from running. If Chris Kramer remains sidelined, Seeley and Mindaugas Girdziunas must try to control the game tempo as much as possible.