No group brings as much uncertainty ahead of Round 5 as does Group F, where no team has yet qualified and there is as much likelihood that two teams will qualify in Round 5 as there is that all four teams will retain a chance to grab one of the top two spots in the group heading into their sixth and final Top 16 games.
With two games to play, Boulogne Metropolitans 92, Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar, Dolomiti Energia Trento and Partizan NIS Belgrade each still holds its destiny in its own hands, although some of these teams need more and some less to happen to be able to qualify.
|Boulogne Metropolitans 92
|Partizan NIS Belgrade
|Dolomiti Energia Trento
|Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar
Three different teams Group F can punch their respective quarterfinals tickets in Round 5. None has it simpler than Metropolitans, which qualifies if it beats Lokomotiv at home and also eliminates Lokomotiv in a process. In addition, a Metropolitans' win is a prerequisite for the two other teams to book their quarterfinal spots in Round 5.
Boulogne Metropolitans 92 (3-1) vs. Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar (1-3), March 3
Dolomiti Energia Trento (2-2) vs. Partizan NIS Belgrade (2-2), March 3
Partizan qualifies if it beats Trento on the road combined with a Metropolitan win. On the other hand, Trento qualifies if it defeats Partizan by more than 28 points in regulation and if Metropolitans wins. However, if Lokomotiv beats Metropolitan, no team will qualify for the quarterfinals in Round 5. That one outcome alone will leave all four teams with quarterfinals chances intact and battling for the top two spots in this group in the Top 16 finales.
The reason for so many possible scenarios with two games to play is that Trento holds a head-to-head tiebreaker over Metropolitans thanks to its 10-point win in Round 4. And Lokomotiv holds a tiebreaker over Partizan after the two teams split home wins. Partizan, on the other hand, beat Trento by 28 points in their Top 16 opener, which looms large in a group as tight as this one.
Those tiebreakers keep alive Lokomotiv's chances of winning the group as much as they threaten Metropolitans, which could eventually get eliminated despite starting 3-0.
The qualification possibilities are aplenty ahead of Round 5 in Group F and it will be exciting to see which one of these scenarios eventually plays out.
Scenarios in Round 5:
Metropolitans qualifies if it beats Lokomotiv.
Partizan qualifies if it beats Trento AND Metropolitans wins.
Trento qualifies if it beats Partizan by more than 28 points in regulation AND Metropolitans wins.
Trento is eliminated if it loses AND Metropolitans wins.
Partizan is eliminated if it loses by more than 28 points AND Metropolitans wins.
Lokomotiv is eliminated with a loss.