It is a do-or-die game for both sides - the winner will live to fight for a Top 16 spot in Round 10 and the loser has chances to be eliminated, depending on other results, so expect a lot of drama and intensity at Palais des Sports Maurice Thorez. If it loses, Olimpija will be eliminated if Joventut Badalona also beats UNICS Kazan or if Germani Leonessa Brescia defeats Darussafaka Tekfen Istanbul. Nanterre is eliminated if it loses and Brescia wins. The winner will dramatically improve its chances to make it to the Top 16, so this is a truly pivotal game not just for both teams, but for all of Group C.
In make-or-break games like this, setting the right game rhythm is critical and it will go down to both teams' starting point guards, the best scorers in their respective squads. Kenny Chery missed the game against Cedevita in Round 4 and is ready to show his all-around scoring skills. He will not have it easy against Codi Miller-McIntyre, who must try to keep everyone involved to make Olimpija as competitive as possible in this tough game. It will be a physical battle between them, one to keep an eye on.
Keys to victory: Nanterre
Nanterre is the best team in offensive rebounds (12.9 orpg.) in the EuroCup this season. It also ranks 20th in two-point shooting percentage (49.4%). Nanterre averages 12.3 turnovers and 14.4 assists this season, but had 7 and 17, respectively, in its spectacular road win against UNICS Kazan. If it can take care of the ball as it did in Kazan, Nanterre has good chances to survive this strong test.
Keys to victory: Olimpija
Olimpija is on a three-game winning streak. It is allowing 80.1 points on average, but just 70.0 in the last three games. That improved defense has allowed Olimpija to be more competitive, as the team is powering the glass with high intensity, pulling down over 40 rebounds in each of its three wins and averaging 13.7 offensive boards in those games. Experience is on Olimpija's side, as players like Jaka Blazic, Marko Simonovic, Andrija Stipanovic and Maik Zirbes have played many make-or-break guys during their careers.