Devotion
Javier Gancedo - Euroleague.netWell, we are one game away from the end of the 2011-12 bwin Euroleague Fantasy Challenge, and it’s a most unusual final week in that regard. In the first season that Fantasy Challenge has included the playoffs round, the journey comes to an end with a single Game 5 showdown to be played, a make-or-break, can't-miss battle between Panathinaikos and Maccabi Electra on Thursday for a Final Four spot. Unless something very unfortunate happens to both of them, the battle to win this year's bwin Fantasy Challenge grand prize seems to be down to two players. Inna P. of Israel can become the first women to win the contest, and actually, I would be surprised if she doesn't win it. She holds a 39.1-point lead and, due to the fact that only there are only Panathinaikos and Maccabi players to choose from this week, I expect that many fantasy teams will look the same. Juan Campo of Spain is second and needs an epic comeback to become the winner. Two-time champion Jorge Martinez ranks third, but is far away from Inna. Sorry for my lack of faith this time, Jorge, but I am sure you will have more chances to win again. Whoever ends up with the highest ranking on Thursday night will come to Istanbul as Euroleague Basketball’s VIP guest. What an unbelievable prize!

I have to say I am jealous. Yes, I have been to nine Final Fours, and yes, most of the time I have been on court while the team was celebrating. Problem is, I don't have time to enjoy the experience, as I am busy at that moment getting all the details of the final together for Euroleague.net. Back in 2007, I had leather-soled shoes and was running to get... more
POSTED BY JAVI GANCEDO - EUROLEAGUE.NET
DATE: April 2, 2012
Javier GancedoEuroleague.net's editor, Javier Gancedo, has worked for Euroleague Basketball since 2003, writing, interviewing players and doing all kinds of features about his favorite sport. Among several initiatives, he created every Euroleague fan's favorite on-line game, bwin Euroleague Fantasy Challenge. As the Euroleague season unfolds, Javier blog about Fantasy Challenge, giving you tips and valuable advice about the game, but most of all, sharing his basketball devotion with all of you, the Turkish Airlines Euroleague fans!

It's Turkish Airlines Euroleague Playoffs time! I hope all you bwin Fantasy Challenge fans are having as much fun as me. The playoffs have been exciting so far all four series. Unics has battled hard in Barcelona without getting a reward, but will fight even harder in Game 3 at home. Barcelona has beaten Unics four times this season and is highly motivated to get another win and seal its ticket to the Final Four as soon as possible. Just like last season, Montepaschi and Olympiacos are battling hard and that series is tied at 1-1. From Georgios Printezis's late heroics in Game 1 – Olympiacos won despite Vassilis Spanoulis fouling hard with four-and-a-half minutes left - to Bo McCalebb's game-clinching steal in Game 2, there is plenty to remember for good. CSKA Moscow has been unstoppable, but if anyone expects Gescrap BB to surrender, well, think again. Miribilla is a tough place to play as a visitor and CSKA will find out soon. Since I went to Palau Blaugrana on Thursday, I had to watch Panathinaikos against Maccabi Electra on tape delay. Game 2 of that series was simply amazing, an instant classic and one of the best games – in my humble opinion – in competition history. more
POSTED BY Javier Gancedo, Euroleague.net
DATE: March 25, 2012
Javier Gancedo, Euroleague.netEuroleague.nets editor, Javier Gancedo, has worked for Euroleague Basketball since 2003, writing, interviewing players and doing all kinds of features about his favorite sport. Among several initiatives, he created every Euroleague fans favorite on-line game, bwin Euroleague Fantasy Challenge. As the Euroleague season unfolds, Javier blog about Fantasy Challenge, giving you tips and valuable advice about the game, but most of all, sharing his basketball devotion with all of you, the Turkish Airlines Euroleague fans!

Here come the Turkish Airlines Euroleague Playoffs! The best teams in the competition square off in the ultimate battle to get to the Final Four. We have two newcomers - Gescrap BB and Unics; a never-before-seen scenario between Panathinaikos and Maccabi Electra - who have played 25 times before but never in a playoffs series; a rematch between Olympiacos and Montepaschi, which will have the home court advantage this time around; and two powerhouses in FC Barcelona Regal and CSKA, who arrive to the playoffs with a 15-1 records. The scene is set for upsets, great individual performances and for the first time, the bwin Euroleague Fantasy Challenge gets into the playoffs, too. You, Euroleague fans, wanted more weeks in the game! Of course with the Top 16 going from six to 14 games next year, you will get 24 fantasy weeks – almost half a year! – instead of a maximum of 21 this season.

This season the game will go on until the end of the playoffs – with unlimited trades. I got the game ready and there are only playoffs players available. For those leading the... more
POSTED BY JAVI GANCEDO - EUROLEAGUE.NET
DATE: March 14, 2012
Javier GancedoEuroleague.net's editor, Javier Gancedo, has worked for Euroleague Basketball since 2003, writing, interviewing players and doing all kinds of features about his favorite sport. Among several initiatives, he created every Euroleague fan's favorite on-line game, bwin Euroleague Fantasy Challenge. As the Euroleague season unfolds, Javier blog about Fantasy Challenge, giving you tips and valuable advice about the game, but most of all, sharing his basketball devotion with all of you, the Turkish Airlines Euroleague fans!

The Turkish Airlines Euroleague Top 16 arrives to its last week and, just as expected, the games get better and better. I would like to point out last week’s instant classic between Fenerbahce Ulker and Unics. It had everything that makes the Euroleague special: action, drama, outstanding plays, an incredible crowd and top-quality basketball. It was simply one of the best games in Top 16 history, up there with all the great games I remember. If you are subscribed to Euroleague TV, you have the chance to watch it as often as you want. I wouldn't miss the chance to see it again! Top 16 Week 5 was full of upsets, unexpected results and above all, a lot of good basketball moments to remember.

As for the bwin Euroleague Fantasy Challenge, it is time to look forward and discard players who won't fight for big goals this week. CSKA Moscow and FC Barcelona Regal are group champions; Maccabi Electra is second in Group H no matter what; and as many as five teams - Anadolu Efes, Unicaja, EA7 Emporio Armani Milano, Bennet Cantu and Zalgiris Kaunas - have no chance to make it to the playoffs. As such, my main goal this week is to avoid players from these eight teams, just... more
POSTED BY JAVI GANCEDO - EUROLEAGUE.NET
DATE: February 27, 2012