Only three teams – CSKA Moscow, Fenerbahce Istanbul and Real Madrid – got consecutive wins in this season's first double-round week. It may be a coincidence, but these three teams combined for the last four Turkish Airlines EuroLeague titles and are the only undefeated squads left in the competition. Madrid survived a tough test in Milan, down by 15 early in the game. Edy Tavares changed the game in the third quarter with outstanding defense. Yes, he is tall and has very long arms, but look at how quick he moves his feet for a player his size and you will be amazed. Facu Campazzo sealed the outcome with a couple of big three-point shots. CSKA also had a tough time against Darussafaka Tekfen Istanbul but managed to turn a difficult situation around with 8 minutes of total basketball – great, aggressive defense, turning into easy baskets at the other end – in the third quarter. Fenerbahce left no doubt about its power with a convincing second half, outscoring Zalgiris Kaunas by 33-48 with a huge game by Kostas Sloukas. Only two teams – Buducnost VOLI Podgorica and Khimki Moscow Region – are still looking for their first wins. Khimki had a heartbreaking home loss on a big three-pointer by Dogus Balbay of Anadolu Efes Istanbul, who is playing the best basketball of his career.
I recommended Balbay last week and will not repeat myself, so here are five different players to trust in Round 4 of EuroLeague Fantasy Challenge.
1. Ante Tomic, FC Barcelona Lassa (1.41 million) – Tomic had some of the best games of his career in Istanbul, and this is where Barcelona plays this week, against Darussafaka. He has averaged a PIR of 22.5 in the last couple of games and is clearly on his way up. As team captain, Tomic has understood he has more responsibilities and is set to keep delivering.
2. Vincent Poirier, KIROLBET Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz (1.15 million) – One of the most effective per-minute players in the competition. Poirier is in very good shape and just earned the Spanish League's MVP of the week honor, getting a PIR of 26 in just 16 minutes. He should have a solid game against FC Bayern Munich, too.
3. Kostas Sloukas, Fenerbahce Istanbul (1.48 million) – He proved to be Fenerbahce's main leader at the first opportunity that his team needed one, when down at halftime against Zalgiris in Kaunas. Sloukas finished the game with 20 points and a PIR of 25. Deadly from both the three-point and the free-throw line, Sloukas is a must.
4. Rodrigue Beaubois, Anadolu Efes Istanbul (0.98 million) – One of the biggest bargains in the game right now. After a couple of sub-par performances, Beaubois exploded against Khimki in Round 3 for 26 points, 9 fouls drawn and a PIR of 30 that earned him weekly co-MVP honors. Roddy is back!
5. Arturas Gudaitis, AX Armani Exchange Olimpia Milan (1.37 million) – He had a really solid game against Olympiacos Piraeus: 11 points, no missed shots, 4 rebounds and 3 steals. Gudaitis is hitting 85% of his free throw attempts (his previous career-high was 71.5%) and will keep on rebounding and blocking shots.