Due to an unfortunate series of tragic events, the deadline for this week’s fantasy tips column was missed. However, in the interests of satisfying The Euroleague Boss’ fans, were running this column with half the Final 16 week one games in the books; it’s valuable to see what Meet The Boss did, even if you were wavering on his word regarding Qyntel Woods…
Hello everyone, this is Javier Gancedo as always – and even more these busy days – from the Euroleague headquarters. And here comes the Top 16, ladies and gentlemen! If the first round is halfway as exciting as Eurocup’s, we are set for a classic start.
What a night in Eurocup it was! Hapoel handed Power Electronics Valencia its first-ever home loss in the competition – and its first in any European competition since 2004 – by rallying for 13 down in the final 11 minutes. Alba Berlin grabbed a good-as-gold road win in Le Mans, Unics managed to beat Galatasaray Cafe Crown in Istanbul, Bilbao Basket downed Benetton in Treviso … We have already *critical* games in Week 2, with Aris taking on Le Mans knowing that the loser will have it very tough to advance. This is the kind of excitement that a six-game, round-robin phase brings. Take it one step higher, with the best clubs in Europe, and you have what could become the most exciting Top 16 in many years.
As for the SportingBet Euroleague Fantasy Challenge, you know how it goes. Open trades were allowed up to this week, so your lineup this week can influence the rest of the fantasy season.
It is good to see that Jorge Martinez won the regular season, overall. This kid is fantastic: He won the competition in 2007 and sneaked on court to take part in the post-final celebrations … wearing a Pamesa Valencia jersey. Dejan Tomasevic could not believe his eyes. We will see if Martinez can hold on through the Top 16. So far, he’s the top candidate to win, but that’s all: Anything can happen in these six weeks.
As for my team Meet the Boss, since I could trade all 10 players, that’s just what I did. All gone. I have to be a bit conservative, so I will go for big-name players on European powerhouses. I have almost 713 credits, so that gives me a little bit of freedom: just what I was working for throughout the season.
My point guards will be Terrell McIntyre and Dimitris Diamantidis because they’re playing at home and will most probably win; I’m trying to get as many bonus points as possible. I will go now straight to power forwards and centers.
I’m not picking Nikola Pekovic, because playing against a 229-cm giant that knows your every move is not a wise choice. Instead, I’m taking Tiago Splitter because Stanko Barac is sidelined and he will play a lot, the Lavrinovic twins because both are having a career-best season – well, maybe just Darjus – and Fran Vazquez, because I have the feeling that he will play well against Maroussi.
As for shooting guards and small forwards, Ramunas Siskauskas and Juan Carlos Navarro, the last two Euroleague MVPs, are a must. I am adding Viktor Khryapa, because the man is on fire lately and Linas Kleiza because I don’t think Walter Herrmann is the best defensive player in the world.
That was easy. In the end I’m just keeping four players from my last regular season game. Of course, I didn’t pick up Qyntel Woods, which means that he’ll be unstoppable this week. Meet The Boss ranks 926th overall, is 6th in the BallinEurope Invitational Challenge and looks like this:
Dimitris Diamantidis. As Mr. Os Davis would say, he’s baaaaaaaaack! Diamantidis is a safe choice.
Terrell McIntyre. Maccabi is a high-scoring team and McIntyre is a very, very smart player ready for the challenge.
Linas Kleiza has played really well so far this season, posting great numbers. He should not disappoint.
Juan Carlos Navarro. Despite facing a tough defender like Michalis Pelekanos, I trust him.
Ramunas Siskauskas. CSKA needs Siskauskas to play at the highest level; he faces the great Carlos Jimenez, however.
Viktor Khryapa is having a career-best season and just gets better and better. Watch out!
Darjus Lavrinovic. Real Madrid needs him againt Mario Kasun and Daniel Santiago.
Ksistof Lavrinovic. Same old, same old. Maccabi can go big with Stephane Lasme and D’or Fischer, so Ksistof is needed.
Fran Vazquez. I was about to play Ratko Varda instead of him, but I didn’t have the guts to do it.
Tiago Splitter. The one and only! Splitter is set for a big game against the entire Olympiacos frontcourt.
That’s all for me this week! Good luck, see you next week and enjoy a very, very exciting Euroleague week! Here comes the Top 16!