Hello everybody, this is Javier Gancedo, ready to do the last weekly SportingBet Fantasy Challenge column in this 2009. It’s been quite an eventful week for me, and this is why this is being published a bit late. First of all, it was my birthday on Monday: I just turned 36 and celebrated all weekend long, first by going out on Saturday and then enjoying a 40-point Cajasol win, something that hasn’t happened in four years and could easily take as much time to happen again. I was supposed to take a flight from Sevilla to Reus and then a bus to Barcelona early on Tuesday morning. What happened is that a woman got onto the plane, sat down and died. Passed away, right before departure. So there was a huge delay, and I had to buy a different flight directly to Barcelona to make it in time for the very exciting Eurocup round last night.
The piece of news (in Spanish) can be read here.
I am accumulating strange anecdotes that could turn into a book one day at this rate. Last month, a woman went AWOL and refused to wear a seatbelt, so police had to come to take her off the plane. Two years ago, I almost was left out in Kaliningrad because of an air hostess’ mistake: I didn’t even know I had to stop there! Anyway, contrary to my personal life in planes, I will try not to be very strange in fantasy this week. In fact, I will be quite conventional. My team, Meet The Boss, ranks 1219th overall, is sixth in the BallinEurope Invitational Challenge at almost 100 points away from the top and has accumulated around 720 credits.
So let’s get it started. First of all, I know I was lucky with Qyntel Woods last week. I had to trade Pete Mickeal because of his flu at the very last minute and it worked. You sometimes need a stroke of luck to do well in this game, what can I say?
Woods has deserved to stay, so I am keeping him through 2010 even when he posted his worst game so far against … AJ Milano. Maybe that’s extra motivation. I am trading Andrew Wisniewski because of his lack of production lately and also because he is facing the one-and-only on-the-ball defender J.R. Holden. I am also taking out Matt Walsh because I think Olimpija has little chance to win in Vitoria and its offense has become a bit predictable. Novica Velickovic is also gone because of that killing minus-2 he had last week. Since they’re facing Panathinaikos, it won’t be easy for any Madrid player.
This leaves me with a little more than 228 credits for three players. I am risking a bit. Since Omer Asik is sidelined and Dalibor Bagaric is questionable, I am picking up Oguz Savas at 40 credits. I know I’m not supposed to buy such a player, but that’s the magic of this game. I will probably make a mistake, but if Savas has a 20-index game as I expect, I will be KING! That way, I can sign the best playmaker available, none other than Terrell McIntyre and anybody at shooting guard and small forward – for instance, Linas Kleiza. Why? Because he is playing against a Lithuanian team and rarely disappoints.
So my last lineup in 2009 looks like this:
Terrell McIntyre. The two-time All-Euroleague point guard at less than 70 credits? Bring him in!
Bo McCalebb. I try to trade him every single week, but I can’t! Plus, he’s always productive.
Linas Kleiza. A solid choice against Lietuvos Rytas. He should stay on fire.
Ramunas Siskauskas, who’s always ready for big games. And, well, CSKA plays Maccabi Electra.
Qyntel Woods. Here by accident, I know. But Prokom won back-to-back games with him as a superstar.
Chuck Eidson. Maybe if I had an extra trade, I would have got rid of him. Viktor Khryapa is an incredible defender.
Ioannis Bourousis. He had not done well lately, and this is why I am keeping him. A breakout game coming…?
Mike Batiste, another player made for big games. And then again, it’s Panathinaikos vs. Madrid for first place.
Oguz Savas. Surprise! I think he can use his big body against Luksa Andric and Vedran Vukusic.
Aleks Maric. No question about him. You, dear reader, have it. And if you don’t, buy him!
So that’s it for this week. I will be on holiday for a week and then come back strong. Happy Holidays everyone, don’t forget to have fun on New Year’s Day and good luck in the SportingBet Fantasy Challenge … and in life in general!