We come off yet another interesting round in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Regular Season. There were not too many close games and just two road wins. Khimki Moscow Region thrashed Herbalife Gran Canaria 70-99 in arguably its best game of the season. It was Khimki's second visit to Gran Canaria - and it had already won by 25 in Game 1 of the 2015 EuroCup Finals. In a game that came down to small details in front of a truly incredible basketball atmosphere, CSKA Moscow topped Zalgiris Kaunas 79-84. Zalgiris led 74-69 with less than 3 minutes remaining, but Will Clyburn and Daniel Hackett stepped up in crunch time to lead CSKA to an important road win. AX Armani Exchange Olimpia Milan had a club record-breaking performance, scoring 111 points against Buducnost VOLI Podgorica. In an outstanding basketball game with a playoffs atmosphere, Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul topped KIROLBET Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz 96-87. Again, the game went down to the final minutes, in which Luigi Datome and Kostas Sloukas made the difference down the stretch. Nikola Milutinov dominated the Greek derby, leading Olympiacos Piraeus to a 79-65 road win against Panathinaikos OPAP Athens. Anadolu Efes Istanbul, Real Madrid and FC Barcelona Lassa recorded respective double-digit home wins.
This is a two-round week, the fourth this season, so you will have chances to use different lineups in the EuroLeague Fantasy Challenge, making the most out of the three trades available per round. Here are some ideas for Rounds 17 and 18.
1. GOGA BITADZE, BUDUCNOST VOLI PODGORICA (720,000) - I don't like to repeat myself, but recommending Bitadze again is the best Fantasy Challenge tip I can give. Buducnost not only signed him, but has given Bitadze an important role in the team and he is delivering: 20 points, 7.5 rebounds and a PIR of 26.5. Buy him while he is this cheap!
2. SHAVON SHIELDS, KIROLBET BASKONIA VITORIA-GASTEIZ (790,000) - Shields has really been delivering in the last month, averaging a PIR of 16.8 over the last four games. He comes off a season-best 22 PIR against the EuroLeague leaders, Fenerbahce. Baskonia is missing Toko Shengelia, so Shields is taking on extended responsibilities – and doing very well.
3. MINDAUGAS KUZMINSKAS, AX ARMANI EXCHANGE OLIMPIA MILAN (860,000) - Kuzminskas has raised his playing level lately and had a fantastic week. He had 19 points and a PIR of 17 against Buducnost and did even better in the Italian League (13 points, 12 rebounds, 26 PIR) over the weekend. The timing seems perfect to buy him.
4. EDY TAVARES, REAL MADRID (1.23 million) - It will be a special game for "Sergeant Swat", as Tavares will play against his former team, Gran Canaria, for the first time in EuroLeague action. Tavares will make sure he is at his best in front of family and friends – and that only means trouble for any opponent.
5.- NORRIS COLE, BUDUCNOST VOLI PODGORICA (1.15 million) - Another heavily underrated Buducnost player. Since his arrival, Cole has averaged 22 points, 6.5 assists and a PIR of 22.5 PIR. Cole travels to Israel to play against his former team, Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv, and then returns home to face Darussafaka Tekfen Istanbul. It should be a good week for him.