It’s a direct battle for first place in Group A. These teams already met in Greece in Round 4 and Promitheas downed Virtus 78-69 behind 16 points from Langston Hall. Therefore, that 9-point margin could have a big impact on the outcome of this group. Milos Teodosic (17.0 ppg.) is Virtus's top scorer, followed by Frank Gaines (12.5 ppg.) and Kyle Weems (12.2 ppg.). Chris Babb (11.8 ppg.), Oleksandr Lypovyy (11.3 ppg.) and Langston Hall (10.8 ppg., 6.0 apg.) have led Promitheas so far in their first EuroCup season.
Two of the best point guards in the competition are set to play against each other. Hall is a pass-first playmaker who is not afraid to pull the trigger from beyond the arc and has succeeded at keeping everyone involved. Teodosic is one of the most creative players in the world. His high basketball IQ, natural-born ability to read pick-and-rolls and outstanding passing skills make him a nightmare matchup for any opponent. Controlling the game rhythm will be critical in this game and these two players will be charged with that role.
Keys to victory: Virtus
Virtus is the second highest-scoring team in the competition (84.6 ppg.) mainly because of its outstanding ball circulation. The hosts rank second in assists (20.4 apg.), but have also committed many turnovers (16.4 per game). Virtus has been lethal inside the arc (57.6% 2FG), so finding players like Vince Hunter and Julian Gamble down low will be critical for the Italian powerhouse. Of course, if the game goes down to the wire, Milos Teodosic and Frank Gaines will be expected to make the difference.
Keys to victory: Promitheas
Promitheas is one of the best defensive teams in the competition, holding to just 72.9 points per game and limiting Virtus to just 69 in Round 4. Opponents struggle to score against Promitheas (50.6% 2FG, 31.3% 3FG) and the Greek powerhouse has done an excellent job at controlling the game tempo, slowing it down to find good options on five-on-five offense. Promitheas is last in offensive rebounds (8.0 orpg.) so Coach Makis Giatras's team still has room for improvement.