08 October, 2019
03 May, 2020
44 Javier Garcia (ZARA), 32 Tryggvi Hlinason (ZARA), 31 Dylan Ennis (ZARA), 27 Vit Krejci (ZARA), 21 Rodrigo San Miguel (ZARA), 19 Robin Benzing (ZARA), 17 Fran Vazquez (ZARA), 12 Carlos Alocen (ZARA), 11 Nemanja Radovic (ZARA), 9 Nicolas Brussino (ZARA), 7 Jonathan Barreiro (ZARA), 00 Javier Justiz (ZARA)
Igor Curkovic's Champions League Help-Side
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Help-Side Column: Build your Basketball Champions League winning team

ZAGREB (Croatia) - It's the season of giving. Which is why we are here to give you a chance to fantasize a bit, pretend you're a GM and select your starting five to win this whole Basketball Champions League competition.

It's not like the real fantasy - perfect example of an oxymoron right there - in which you play all season long against your friends, but in reality only have fun twice: (1) during the draft or (2) when you score better than the office loud-mouth who bragged how he was on autopick for one of the guys and yet he's putting up 20 points, 10 rebounds every time he steps on the floor.

That kind of fantasy is just a bit too complicated for us. But a Basketball Champions League Fantasy Challenge is something we are keeping in our minds, and who knows, maybe we make that fantasy a reality next time around the sun, huh? Why not.

But since all-season-long fantasy is complicated, let's keep it simple for this holiday season. Just for a day, just for a week, just for a duration of this column, let's pretend we are all General Managers and have a lucrative budget of 15 euros points each. You need just a bit more than that to survive in the real world, but here, 15 euros points are enough.

So, how would you spend them for five guys?

Obviously, you can't go Tony Wroten - Keith Langford - Howard Sant-Roos - Dyshawn Pierre - Giorgi Shermadini because you'd go bankrupted. You can't go Luka Rupnik - Ryan Toolson - Kingsley Moses - Jasiel Rivero - Zoltan Perl because you'd be 10 euros points below your budget and we don't allow that over here because I said so. It's my column. Deal with it.

So here are the only two ground rules:

  1. You have to pick one player from each line. So that's 1+2+3+4+5 which is 15, even without the calculator.
  2.  Your team has to be named after your hometown and your favorite fruit. Mine is Split Bananas, which has to be the best fantasy team name ever, for sure.

Without further ado, here are your 2020 Split Bananas, coached by Anwil Wloclawek's Igor Milicic because he's the only other Igor in this league.

(He's the only relevant Igor in this league, too.)

The 5-pointer: Howard Sant-Roos

This one is easy. AEK's swingman averages 13.8 points, 6.6 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 2.0 blocks, which is an effective way of showing he can do stuff on both ends of the floor. He's my glue guy, he's the one I'm giving the most euros points, he's my ship's captain. Plus, with his hair and beard, he kinda looks like Childish Gambino, so you bet whatever you want, I'm giving him my fiver.

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The 4-pointer: James Feldeine

Come on, man. Dude averages 3.4 three-pointers per game, on 43.7 percent. I don't even have a 43.7 percent accuracy when it comes to spelling. Hapoel Bank Yahav Jerusalem's shooting guard has 16.2 points, 3.2 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game, with 1.2 steals to his name, too. Hapoel are a +63 team with him on the floor this season, there's not much to add there.

The 3-pointer: Zeljko Sakic

I have to have a Croat on a team called Split Bananas. And since I've followed Zeljko Sakic from the good old days when he still had hair, it seems like a right move to pick up Lietkabelis' power forward for my "four" spot here. Double digits in all nine games so far, 30+ points in two games, 19.8 points per game with 7.0 rebounds to go with it - Sak-attack is the best player nobody told you about.

The 2-pointer: Carlos Alocen

Born on December 30, 2000. So we're talking about a long-term potential here, available for just 2 euros points. Watched Casademont Zaragoza's PG excel in a Spanish shirt during the FIBA U20 European Championship in Tel Aviv, Israel, and his 8.4 points, 4.0 assists and 3.9 rebounds per game are 8.4 points, 4.0 assists and 3.9 rebounds more than you had at 19.

The 1-pointer: Kingsley Moses

I know for a fact that Kingsley spent time in Split, Croatia, so he'd be almost like our homegrown player here. At 2.0 blocks per 23.9 minutes a game, you get elite rim protection with Peristeri winmasters' center in the middle. Oh, and he's a double-double machine, 10.6 points and 10.0 rebounds each time he hits the floor for the Greek team, meaning he's perfect for my one euro point.

There you go. Your Basketball Champions League winning team, Split Bananas, coached by the only other Igor in the League, and powered by a starting five of Carlos Alocen - James Feldeine - Howard Sant-Roos - Zeljko Sakic - Kinglsey Moses.

Think your team is better? Let us know on our Social Media platforms, now.


The Basketball Champions League's columnists write on a wide range of topics relating to basketball that are of interest to them. The opinions they express are their own and in no way reflect those of FIBA or the Basketball Champions League.

The Basketball Champions League's takes no responsibility and gives no guarantees, warranties or representations, implied or otherwise, for the content or accuracy of the content and opinion expressed in the above article.

Igor Curkovic

Igor Curkovic

Igor Curkovic is Basketball Champions League's writer and editor since day one of the competition, specializing in Live Blog coverage of the games and sorting out the teams on Mondays, in the Power Rankings. When he's not watching basketball, he's commentating Croatian Second Division soccer games for TV.