Hello again, this is Javier Gancedo of Euroleague.net and here I am, ready to give you all some more tips about the game I manage, the NikeID Euroleague Basketball Fantasy Challenge. I am writing this all the way from Granada, Spain, a must-see spot for all of you, if only it its because it features the best monument in Europe, the always breathtaking Alhambra. Anyway, you must admit that last week’s star tip, signing Sani Becirovic, was a top one. Of course, there will be times in which I will recommend a -6 player, so following your own criteria and considering that I do make some mistakes sometimes is a must to succeed in this game. I am getting closer to the prizes in the BallinEurope fantasy league, with a long, long way to go.
Let’s look back at last week’s game. Oh, what a week it was! Henry Domercant went on fire to make Montepaschi Siena beat Regal FC Barcelona, Panionios On Telecoms shocked everyone with an incrdible road win against Efes Pilsen, Marcus Brown showed he is alive and kicking with a huge triple coming off a screen to rescue Maccabi Electra against Le Mans… Igor Rakocevic was unstoppable, Fenerbahce Ulker confirmed that it is ready for bigger challenges, Avellino grabbed its first Euroleague win in thrilling fashion… And maybe above all, Cibona downed Olympiacos in an incredible game. Earl Calloway proved me wrong in the third quarter of the game in Zagreb. What a playmaker Cibona found out of the blue – yes, those who saw Hemofarm last season already knew that Rawle Marshall would be a star this season.
It’s good to see some friends in the BallinEurope private league, but none is bigger than Jugonic, Pablo Malo de Molina, the ACB SuperManager boss. We are kind of basketball brothers and have known each other for quite some time, when we were both very, very unknown in this world. I mean, we are still quite unknown out there, the nobodies that run the pages that make you all happy, those who run those games you are addicted to. He is following my tips and bought Becirovic. The fact that Pablo is doing well just confirms something: anybody, I mean ANYBODY can actually do well in the Fantasy Challenge. Well, if Pablo can actually succeed, anyone can.
Take the Ermal Kuqo situation. There he is, back to the 26th place OVERALL. There is no chance on earth I can beat him in his private league. I was happy when I scored 155 points in a team full of Klobucars, Perperoglous and so on… and Kuqo had 177 points effortlessly. At least my best team, that already ranks 53rd overall, is getting closer and closer to his best team. That way, I would gain some respectability back but let’s face it. There are 13 weeks left and I already need a miracle to beat the Albanian big guy. And the man can’t stop joking about it…
As for this week’s tips, my team had 147.2 points despite underachieving performances of exactly half of my players. It is mandatory for me to release Stratos Perperoglou and Saso Ozbolt to avoid losing more credits – yes, I am still in that phase of trying to make some money. Even when Felipe Reyes is overpriced, I am keeping him, because he always has good games against physical big guys like Mason Rocca and Mindaugas Katelynas. Against all odds, I am selling Daniel Ewing just because Asseco Prokom plays in Barcelona. Even when Victor Sada is out in this game, Barcelona is the heavy favourite in this one. Remember I kept some money in the bank ready to be used as soon as NOW. Even with that, 134 credits for 3 players is not a lot of dough.
My first choice is Emir Preldzic, just because he plays a lot and faces Olimpija, the best team in his native country Slovenia. Plus he is underpriced so at least he will give me some extra credits. I am also choosing Jonas Maciulis of Zalgiris Kaunas. I always liked “The Bull” and Zalgiris has a good chance to win its first game in Nancy, even when it will not be easy. That leaves me with 57.7 credits for a point guard. Even when I am tempted to sign Calloway, I picked up Jaka Lakovic instead. Again, the same reasons why I released Ewing: Barcelona is the heavy favourite in this one.
My “Meet The Boss” team looks like this:
Jaka Lakovic – Without Victor Sada, he should see more minutes at PG and SG.
Nikos Zizis – Will keep him until J.R. Holden comes back at the very worst.
Emir Preldzic – Another Slovenian facing Olimpija. Worked well with Becirovic last week.
Jonas Maciulis – Points, rebounds, intensity and a team hungry for its first 2008-09 Euroleague win.
Sani Becirovic – Don’t touch what works well, and Becirovic has been unstoppable.
Bracey Wright – He had a terrible game in the ACB this weekend. Time to bounce back.
Mirza Begic – The most underrated player in the game right now – but everybody has him.
Felipe Reyes – Madrid lost its last two Euroleague games. Faces Milano in a classic showdown.
Mirsad Turkcan – Rebounds, rebounds, rebounds. Turkcan is a basic player in Fener right now.
Mike Batiste – Expect a tough Panathinaikos – Montepaschi game. The bigger the game is, the more Mike plays.
That’s all for me this week. As usual, enjoy the Euroleague week and good luck in the Fantasy Challenge!