Round 25 brought a lot of excitement and important results, and at the end of it, the 11th-ranked team, FC Bayern Munich, is just one win away from the sixth-ranked squad, KIROLBET Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz. In a rematch of last season's championship game, Real Madrid topped Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul 101-86. It was the first time that a team scored 100 or more points in a non-overtime win against a team coached by Zeljko Obradovic, which speaks wonders about Madrid, yes, but also about the nine-time EuroLeague-winning boss. In a direct battle for fourth place, Shane Larkin had a near-perfect performance – 37 points, just 3 shots missed – to lead Anadolu Efes Istanbul past FC Barcelona Lassa. Three teams won on the road: Panathinaikos OPAP Athens downed Darussafaka Tekfen Istanbul led by an outstanding Nick Calathes; Olympiacos Piraeus ended a losing strek by topping Buducnost VOLI Podgorica; and Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv grabbed a good-as-gold win against Bayern in Munich. In a shootout, CSKA Moscow defeated AX Armani Exchange Olimpia Milan, while Zalgiris Kaunas and Baskonia also got impressive home wins. Baskonia had a club-record 38 points in one quarter – the third – four its fourth win in five games.
There is always excitement in this competition, which is what makes it so special. Expect more of the same in Round 26. Good games usually lead to good individual performances. Here are our five suggestions to make your EuroLeague Fantasy Challenge team more competitive.
1. Sergio Llull, Real Madrid (1.16 million) – Llull is back to his best level, and he confirmed it after the game. Against Fenerbahce, Llull played arguably his best game of the season. He was accurate, explosive, smart and full of answers at both ends of the floor. When he is 100%, his playing level is that of a EuroLeague MVP, the award he won at the end of the 2016-17 season, his last fully healthy one.
2. Johannes Voigtmann, KIROLBET Baskonia Vitoria Gasteiz (1.69 million) – Voigtmann came really close to getting a triple-double in Round 15, finishing with 16 points, 9 rebounds, 9 assists and a PIR of 31 against Khimki Moscow Region. Slowly but steadily, Voigtmann is finding his best playing level and is a great option in Round 26.
3. Shane Larkin, Anadolu Efes Istanbul (1.52 million) – He comes off an outstanding performance, nothing less than the best scoring night in the EuroLeague since 2014. If Larkin finds his rhythm like that more often, he could be key for Efes not only to make it to the playoffs, but to get the home-court advantage and fight for a Final Four spot.
4. Georgios Papagiannis, Panathinaikos OPAP Athens (450,000) – He had a double-double of 14 points and 12 rebounds against Darussafaka. That game could be a turning point for him. In the last couple of games, Papagiannis is averaging 14 points on 87.5% two-point shooting, 8.5 rebounds and a PIR of 21. And he is still very cheap, worth the gamble.
5. Othello Hunter, CSKA Moscow (1.27 million) – Always solid and reliable, Hunter was at his best level against Milan, finishing the game with 19 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists and a PIR of 23. He has averaged a PIR of 18.3 in CSKA's last three games. In a team full of stars, having an elite finisher like him makes Hunter a very good Fantasy option.