In a thrilling Round 18, seven road teams rose up for victories and only one game had a double-digit winner. That was Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul, which used outstanding defense to down KIROLBET Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz at Fernando Buesa Arena. Among the six other road winners, Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv beat ALBA Berlin 89-95 with 19 points from Elijah Bryant and lot of visiting fans in the stands; CSKA Moscow held off FC Bayern Munich's comeback at Audi Dome; Olympiacos Piraeus got the most out of its core players to nip Valencia Basket at La Fonteta; Anadolu Efes Istanbul used an outstanding game from Shane Larkin to beat FC Barcelona at Palau Blaugrana; Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade grabbed a last-second win against LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne on a game-winning triple by Kevin Punter; and Zenit St Petersburg took its all-Russian showdown with Khimki Moscow Region 81-83 behind 20 points from Will Thomas. Only two squads managed to win at home. One was Real Madrid, for its 13th consecutive victory, this time against Zalgiris Kaunas. AX Armani Exchange Milan topped Panathinaikos OPAP Athens with another magic night from Sergio 'El Chacho' Rodriguez.
This is a double-round week, which means Round 19 will be played on Tuesday and Wednesday, followed by Round 20 on Thursday and Friday. Here are five players who should play well all week long.
Toko Shengelia, KIROLBET Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz (2.03 million) – As expected, Baskonia's hard-charging captain is the perfect match for a coach who helped create the "Baskonia Character" motto, Dusko Ivanovic. Shengelia had a career-high PIR of 37 against Fenerbahce, and his price is cheaper than a month ago, too.
Colton Iverson, Zenit St Petersburg (1.04 million) – Gustavo Ayon went down due to injury and will not be back soon. That leaves Zenit coach Joan Plaza with Colton Iverson and Anton Pushkov as his only options at center. Iverson is stronger and more experienced, and so will probably play more than 25 minutes from now on. A good, cheap option at center.
Darrun Hilliard, CSKA Moscow (710,000) – CSKA lost Janis Strelnieks and Daniel Hackett to injury, but Hilliard stepped up big in Munich with an all-around performance: 20 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists and a PIR of 18. CSKA will need Hilliard to keep doing well against Real Madrid, arguably the hottest team in the competition.
Georgios Printezis, Olympiacos Piraeus (1.87 million) – Olympiacos brought back head coach Georgios Bartzokas and the logical move will be trusting those players who have been there forever, the Reds' true core. One of them is Printezis, who had a PIR of 24 in his team's win at Valencia. Olympiacos's schedule looks perfect for him to do well, with five of the next seven games at home.
Vladimir Stimac, Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade (670,000) – After a short stint with Fenerbahce, Stimac is back to his hometown of Belgrade, playing for Zvezda, his beloved club. His role has been really important from day one: in the last two games, Stimac has averaged 17.0 points on 14-of-15 two-point shots and a PIR of 20.5. He will get better, too, as his rebounds average (3.5 rpg.) should go up.