Hello everybody, once again this is Javier Gancedo, usually from the Euroleague Basketball headquarters, but at home here in Barcelona. The Euroleague Top 16 only gets better and better. CSKA and Tau Ceramica already showed their power last week – yes, I should have had Splitter in the end -, Partizan made it to the next round in one of the most unprobable upsets this season, Real Madrid beat Maccabi Electra in Tel Aviv in front of a extraordinary basketball atmosphere, with a veterans’ game played and televised before the big showdown…
…how about this week? Partizan hosts Panathinaikos in a sellout Belgrade Arena. Expect 22,000 fans in the stands. I don’t even remember the last time European club basketball had a game with 22,000 fans. You would probably have to go back to the seventies, even to the sixties… Then Montepaschi lost Ksistof Lavrinovic, Maccabi is without Yaniv Green and D’or Fischer, so that, I think, marks the NIKEiD Fantasy Challenge week. I am getting closer to first place in the BallinEurope private league. In fact, I am just 0.1 points away from EVICROCK. One of my teams made it to the Top 20 overall this week and yes, finally I got to surpass Ermal Kuqo in our private league. Rallying from a 200-point deficit.
As for my team this week, I really don’t know what to do buy hey, I never do. I always make my trades as I write the article and leave them as they are, unless some injuries take place. That is why this article is coming on Wednesdays lately because well, I hate to do things over and over again. First of all, I am going to trade Mirsad Turkcan just because of the CSKA rule. As you probably know, I tend not to have players that play against CSKA. Ever. Then I am going to trade Dimitris Diamantidis, which may look as a suicide but I do believe that Partizan can beat Panathinaikos in that atmosphere. I am slo trading Pete Mickeal because I want Splitter in my team. Even when I adore Pete and I think he is one of the best players in Europe, I don’t like to have three guys from the same team.
So Splitter is already in, even when I like Lior Eliyahu a lot. I am taking a bit of a risk this week and picked Omri Casspi, 31.2 credits. Why? Because Maccabi is left with Charles Gaines and Eliyahu in the paint, which means someone has to offer a helping hand at power forward. I remember seeing Casspi playing 4 sometimes at the Euroleague Junior Tournament. Here I am, trying to reach first place in a tough private league trusting the memories I have from a junior tournament that happened four years ago. Next thing I will do is try to sign Kamil Pietras. Anyway, as for the final trade, I got Terrell McIntyre because that game against Cibona is a do-or-die one for Montepaschi. He plays at home, Siena needs to win by eight points, someone has to step up and that’s him, basicly.
So my team looks like this:
Terrell McIntyre – A must-win game for Montepaschi, so its best player should rise to the occasion.
Carlos Arroyo – With so many injuries inside, Maccabi must get point from its outside players.
Immanuel McElroy – final home game for Alba, so McElroy good be solid enough and have a nice index.
Juan Carlos Navarro – Man, he plays at home against Real Madrid. Nobody can be more motivated than him.
Igor Rakocevic – No chance on earth that I will trade Rako unless he gets injured.
Omri Casspi – The big gamble this week. Casspi should see extended playing time with Fischer and Green out.
Ioannis Bourousis – Points and rebounds guaranteed in a do-or-die game for the Reds.
Felipe Reyes – I was considering trading him for Eliyahu. But he knows Regal FCB inside out, so he stays.
Nikola Pekovic – He plays his former team in front of 22,000 fans. Ah, and I forgot… he is unstoppable.
Tiago Splitter – Possibly the best big man in the league. I am trying to be the best in the BiE private league.
Well, don’t forget to make your trades before the deadline, good luck to everybody and follow what promises to be an exciting Euroleague week! Also, the Fantasy Challenge will be over as soon as next week, so make the most out of these two weeks!