We come off a very exciting round in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague and at the end of it, only CSKA Moscow and Real Madrid remain undefeated. In a brilliant game, CSKA played really hard for 40 minutes to beat Herbalife Gran Canaria 91-106 on the road. The hosts stayed in the game for 35 minutes, but ran out of gas and that is when CSKA showed its best version, scoring 20 points in five minutes behind an unstoppable Nando De Colo. Madrid had no mercy against Buducnost VOLI Podgorica, getting an 89-55 win in which October MVP Edy Tavares had 14 points in 18 minutes. Zalgiris Kaunas scored an outstanding overtime in the Greek capital by edging Panathinaikos OPAP Athens 83-87, and FC Barcelona Lassa, also on the road, bested Darussafaka Istanbul 71-79. Khimki Moscow Region was close to its first win, but Mike James denied it and lifted AX Armani Exchange Olimpia Milan to an 81-80 triumph. In the Istanbul derby, Anadolu Efes rallied from 16 down to top Fenerbahce. FC Bayern Munich and Olympiacos Piraeus also won at home. What a great round it was!
As you know, I recommend five players for the EuroLeague Fantasy Challenge before every round based on several aspects: their last EuroLeague game, their last domestic game, a good matchup against an opponent, extended playing time for whatever reason and in one particular case, a EuroLeague superstar at a very reasonable price.
1.- Jordan Mickey, Khimki Moscow Region (820,000). After a couple of good games, Mickey had a stellar performance against Milan. He took advantage of Anthony Gill's absence to score 26 points and get a PIR of 32. Even though Gill returned in the VTB United League this weekend, Mickey still had a PIR of 14. All for less than a million in a game - Khimki vs. Gran Canaria – that could be a high-scoring one.
2.- Nick Calathes, Panathinaikos OPAP Athens (1.34 million). Well, this is Nick Calathes we are talking about. One of the best players in the EuroLeague. A guy who had 11 double-doubles last season and managed to dish 16 assists in a playoff game. His team faces a must-win game against Buducnost. If you ask me, Calathes will not be this cheap the rest of the season.
3.- Derrick Williams, FC Bayern Munich (830,000). Williams impressed everyone in Bayern's win against Baskonia with 22 points, 3 blocks and a PIR of 23. He played with great focus and intensity, which is a good sign going forward. His price is still really low for a player with his potential. He hasn't played in the German League yet, so Williams will be well-rested and ready!
4.- Kevin Pangos, FC Barcelona Lassa (1 million).An All-EuroLeague Second Team selection last season, Pangos needed an adjustment period to show his best version, which he did in the Spanish League this weekend. Pangos led Barcelona to a 94-92 win over Joventut Badalona with 32 points, 4 assists and 7 fouls drawn and a PIR of 33. It is the right time to pick him!
5.- Micheal Eric, Darussafaka Tekfen Istanbul (1.22 million). Eric has been outstanding in each of his last two EuroLeague games, averaging 16 points and 10 rebounds for a PIR of 25.5. Even though his team plays on the road against Baskonia - featuring a great shot blocker in Vincent Poirier, Eric should keep playing well and lead Darussafaka's frontcourt all season long.