Metropolitans (2-0) leads Group F despite not having a full roster. David Michineau (17.5 ppg., 5.0 apg.), Archie Goodwin (12.0 ppg.) and Anthony Brown (11.5 ppg.) are leading the team in the Top 16 until now. Trento (1-1) comes off a brilliant win against Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar (0-2) and looks for more. JaCorey Williams (16.0 ppg., 8.5 rpg.), Luke Maye (15.0 ppg., 9.0 rpg.) and Gary Browne (9.5 ppg.) have been its main pillars in this phase. Expect high intensity at Marcel Cerdan.
Michineau has stepped up big in Brandon Brown's absence, helping on the boards (3.5 ppg.) and shooting the ball well (60.0% 2FG, 55.6% 3FG). He went from averaging a PIR of 4.0 in the regular season to 18.5 (13th overall) in the Top 16. Michineau must be focused to stop a more experienced point guard in Browne, Trento's undeniable leader. His court sense, all-around scoring skills and great character have made him Trento's go-to guy.
Metropolitans and Trento are facing each other for the first time in a European competition. Metropolitans has played three home games against Italian teams in EuroCup action, downing Cimberio Varese in 2013 and Grissin Bon Reggio Emilia in 2014 before losing against Fiat Turin in 2017. Trento is 3-2 on French soil, having beaten Nanterre 92 twice and Strasbourg in the first leg of the 2016 semifinals. It lost twice against ASVEL Villeurbanne at the Astroballe.
Keys to victory: Metropolitans
Metropolitans has one of the best defenses in the competition, allowing just 77.3 points on average. That number went down to 70.5 in the Top 16. Metropolitans is forcing opponents into low shooting percentages (42.6% 2FG, 25.5% 3FG). Head coach Jure Zdovc's team must keep playing defense with the same intensity and attitude. Paul Stoll arrived to help Michineau with the point guard duties, and both players should be ready to control the game tempo against Browne and Toto Forray.
Keys to victory: Trento
Trento was strong, especially in the first half, against Lokomotiv, finishing the game with good shooting percentages (57.6% 2FG, 44.4% 3FG, 84.6% FT) and pulling down a club record 34 defensive rebounds. It was the other way around against Partizan in Round 1, when it had just 20 defensive rebounds and shot poorly (32.5% 2FG, 16.7% 3FG, 50% FT). If Trento can lock down the defensive glass and get Top 16 Round 2 MVP Luke Maye and Williams involved on offense, it should have a better chance to win.