It's a decisive Group D game in Germany when the Fraport Skyliners (4-3) welcome Rytas (3-4). A win would send the Skyliners into the Top 16 alongside UNICS and Unicaja, already qualified. If Rytas wins, the score will be important for potential tie situations. Last week, the hosts lost to Unicaja despite 22 points by Trae Bell-Haynes. Rytas lost its second in a row against UNICS with 19 points by DJ Seeley.
Earlier this season
In their only previous matchup ever in the EuroCup, the Skyliners won on the road, 61-70. Jason Clark led the way with his 14 points and Bell-Haynes added 11. For Rytas, Seeley had 19. A 1 of 11 from the arc was a big burden for Rytas, and it didn't matter that the hosts won the rebounding battle, 35-29. However, the guests managed to stay at 10 turnovers while Rytas had 16, a key for the home loss.
Erik Murphy and Marynas Echodas will be the protagonists of a big duel in the paint. Murphy is having a great season with the German team, averaging 16.6 points and 3.9 rebounds per game. Echodas is the other side of the spectrum. He is a young player starting to see serious minutes on court and, week by week, he keeps improving. He has scored in double digits in three of his last four games, averaging 8.7 points and 4.3 boards overall.
Keys to victory: Skyliners
The Skyliners are on the brink of qualifying, so this home game is the most important of the season so far. A Top 16 spot would be a big success for the team at this point, but it struggles in rebounds, especially against Rytas (28.7 to 35.1). The Skyliners will have to rely on Murphy, Heslip and Clark to carry most of the offensive weight, but if they manage to control the rebounds, they will be halfway there.
Keys to victory: Rytas
Rytas is in the thick of the race and a win in Frankfurt would increase its Top 16 chances dramatically. Both teams receive less than 80 points per game, and Rytas scores 2 points less per game than the hosts, so it will all come down to the small details. On the road, has lost two of its three games, so this would be a great moment to add the second road win.