ball – Euroleague. Monaco offer a “final” in Greece after the victory over Olympiakos

M.the onaco beat on the wire (78-77), and at the end of an intense match, Olympiakos Piraeus, Friday night at the Rock, during the match 4 of the Euroleague quarter-finals, thus winning the right to play a match decisive, next Wednesday in Piraeus, to try to reach the semifinals of the Continental Queen-Competition.

Salle Gaston-Médecin, a formation from the Principality, thanks to its Americans (21 points for Dwayne Bacon, 18 points for Mike James and 16 for Will Thomas), thus equalized with 2 wins everywhere against the Greeks. The qualification will be played in the hot Stade de la Paix et de l’Amitié, in front of around 14,000 hostile fans.

French basketball can thus continue to dream of seeing a third French club reach the semifinals of C1 after Limoges (1990, 1993 and 1995) and Villeurbanne (1997).

In Durant’s eyes

It all boiled down to the last two possessions, with the Roca Team leading by one point. Dwayne Bacon missed the shot, giving OB a point in the semifinals. But, in one last defense, the Monegasques prevented Moustapha Fall from taking the winning shot and forced Kostas Sloukas to attempt one, impossible, behind the arc.

In front of NBA champion Kevin Durant, happy for his friend Mike James, teammate of the Brooklyn Nets at the end of last season, ASM resumed the match in Athens. It has long been destabilized by the opposing defense, immediately seeing Kostas Papanikolaou and Sasha Vezenkov, respectively scoring 8 and 5 points in the first quarter, including a superb second place baptized on the siren (11-15, 7th), put their team front. After suffering a 2-12, Sasa Obradovic’s men progressively approach the scoreboard (19-19, 10th). But Olympiakos continued to defend accurately until half-time, forcing Mike James, Paris Lee and Dwayne Bacon to shoot from long range. Result: 2 out of 13 with three points at half time.

The fall hurts

Down by -4 at the end of the second quarter (38-42), Monaco had a complicated third period start (0-7), with French giant Moustapha Fall (2.18m) injured, with 4 points and 2 fouls and a decisive pass in three actions (49-38, 22).

The class action signed by Mike James then got Kevin Durant off his chair on two very difficult baskets. The home players took control and the atmosphere leveled up during a third quarter of madness (27-19).

Thomas and Bacon followed the trend (70-61, 33). But Papanikolaou allowed his team to take the lead (70-71) in the suspenseful final five minutes. We know the rest … and the end.

Sasa Obradovic
“I find it difficult to analyze. But, in the end, there is victory. A win is a win. It really is the most important. The energy of this match, and particularly that shown by my players, was on a completely different level than what we have shown in the past. Winning under mental pressure is strong. And the players now have it inside. We have already beaten Olympiakos at home. I know it will be very different. But we showed so much energy in Matches 2 and 4! Of course, there, it will take more than that. It will take patience, for everyone to contribute. Tonight (Friday), we really won this match with a big heart. It was an incredibly physical match. This is why I reduced the rotations to be with the most important guys.

It’s hard to take someone out and say they were the best. But, for me, Will (Thomas) is the heart of this team. And not just in this game. He goes beyond the statistics, he freezes for rebounds, helps his teammates. He is an incredible professional, one who sets an example every day. He is one of the most important players of my career in this sense. In addition, he has experience, a high basketball IQ and an important character. This gives the team stability in every match.

We’ll see if Alpha Diallo can come (to Greece). We have missed a lot in these last two games. This is not the atmosphere, this is not Olympiakos. We are ! We put pressure on them. Now we will also have to be able to find some solutions, like against Moustapha (Fall), who is hurting us with the paint. I rely on our current energy and heart. You will need to know how to balance between the pragmatic side, the ability to keep emotions and this energy away. In a few days I will put all my experience for the players. But they have to dive into their own experience. We will have some time to prepare well for this match. “

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