Round 12 was exciting, as is to be expected as the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Regular Season gets closer to its halfway mark. Real Madrid had an outstanding fourth-quarter comeback, rallying from a 14-point deficit to defeat Anadolu Efes Istanbul behind a stunning performance from Gustavo Ayon. Madrid was one of the four road winners in Round 11. Herbalife Gran Canaria provided arguably the biggest surprise, downing AX Armani Exchange Olimpia Milan with solid offense and many players contributing. All of a sudden, Gran Canaria is 4-7, won twice on the road and is one win away from playoffs territory. Fenerbahce Istanbul won on the road for the sixth time this season, downing difficult Panathinaikos OPAP Athens with great games from Jan Vesely and Nikola Kalinic. Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv defeated Darussafaka Tekfen Istanbul on a last-second block by Yovel Zoosman. There were very good home wins, too: KIROLBET Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz, led by big men Vincent Poirier and Toko Shengelia, defeated CSKA Moscow; Buducnost VOLI Podgorica defeated FC Barcelona Lassa for its third home win in a row; while Zalgiris Kaunas and FC Bayern Munich also grabbed difficult wins, too. Only one game was decided by more than 10 points. What an exciting time of the year for EuroLeague fans!
Round 12 brings extra excitement with two regional derbies. CSKA takes on Khimki Moscow Region in the Leningradka Derby and Madrid hosts Barcelona in the EuroLeague version of El Clásico. Which players will be ready to do well in this round, to give your EuroLeague Fantasy Challenge team an extra boost? As always, we have some ideas. Here are our five suggestions before this round.
1. Bryant Dunston, Anadolu Efes Istanbul, 1.56 million – Dunston has been pretty solid and Efes's defensive leader this season. He comes off a PIR of 2 against Real Madrid and rarely has a sub-par performance in consecutive games. Expect him to be in top form against his former team, Olympiacos Piraeus, providing rebounds, blocks, and dunks.
2. Alen Omic, Buducnost VOLI Podgorica, 1.15 million – A cheap, good option at center. Omic returns to Gran Canaria, where he made it to the All-EuroCup First Team, and will be extremely motivated to play against his former team. Expect him to be active on the boards and to challenge Ondrej Balvin and Anzejs Pasecniks down low.
3. Gustavo Ayon, Real Madrid, 2.07 million – He is in top shape and the timing is perfect for any Fantasy manager to sign him. He earned the Round 11 MVP honor and rarely disappoints in big games. What's bigger for Real Madrid that a home 'clásico' against Barcelona? Ayon is a solid choice in general, but even better in a high-pressure game like this.
4. Alec Peters, CSKA Moscow, 1.09 million – Peters had adjusted to European basketball really well due to his unlimited range and accuracy. Indeed, Peters has hit 26-of-45 three-point shots (57.8%) until now. Against Baskonia last week, he was more aggressive and finished with 20 points. Khimki is without starting power forward Anthony Gill, which also matters.
5. Stefan Jovic, FC Bayern Munich, 1.05 million – Slowly but steadily, Jovic is finding his rhythm and becoming the floor general everyone knows he can be. Last week, Jovic had 9 points, a season-high 9 assists and a PIR of 16 against Khimki. Bayern plays again at home, this time against Zalgiris Kaunas. Expect Jovic to keep his personal momentum going.