Basketball: Epic capitulation destroys Roca Team’s shot at Euroleague glory

AS Monaco Final Four v Olympiacos

From a position of strength, AS Monaco Basketball suffered a capitulation of epic proportions against Olympiacos in the Euroleague Final Four semi-final on Friday (76-62) on their way to defeat, before salvaging third place in Sunday’s playoff. 

Monaco won’t follow in the footsteps of Limoges and become the first French European champions since 1993. During a cagey first half, during which both sides struggled at times, the Roca Team took the ascendancy, thanks in large part to their talisman Mike James (17 points). However, just like his team, he couldn’t replicate his first-half form (13 points) in the second half.

Sasa Obradovic by AS Monaco Basket

A capitulation, the likes of which have never been seen in the Euroleague Final Four, took place in the third quarter, leaving Sasa Obaradovic and his players shell-shocked.

Coming into the second half with a 12-point lead, Olympiacos quickly reversed the trend, netting a 14-point unbeaten streak. The Roca Team showed signs of revolt, levelling the tie, before going on to concede another 13 points without reply before the buzzer (27-2).

“We can be proud of this historic run.”

Monaco couldn’t recover from the mental blow. The Principality side leaned on its individuals to get themselves back into the game, but to no avail, as they registered a seasons-lowest points-tally in the Euroleague. The Roca Team’s chances of Euroleague glory, in their first Final Four appearance, slipped through their fingers (76-62).

“It was already a historic and exceptional exploit,” said General Manager Oleksiy Yefimov post-match, who was determined to look for the positives in the defeat. “You can’t buy experience, sometimes you pay the price for it. This evening, we didn’t lose, we gained an experience that will help us in the future and will certainly make us stronger. We can be proud of this historic run,” he continued.

Third place secured against Barcelona

Despite the defeat, Monaco still had one objective to fight for in Kaunas – the third place. After their defeat against Real Madrid on Friday, Barcelona faced off against the Roca Team in the third-place play-off on Sunday.

Just as they did against Olympiacos, Monaco had the better of the first half against Barcelona (44-28). But the difference came in the second half, during which there was no capitulation, but instead a well-managed advantage.

The victory (78-66) is merely a consolation for the Roca Team, who are officially Europe’s third-best team this season. “We’ve accomplished something this season. We must be satisfied with third. We expect an even harder Euroleague next season as we’ll be considered as one of the favourites. We need to learn from this Final Four and come back stronger next year with renewed strength and energy,” said Obradovic post-match.

Whilst Monaco won’t lift the Euroleague this season, there is still a chance for further silverware. The Betclic Elite title is still up for grabs, and their quest to lift it begins against Strasbourg in Monaco on Wednesday.


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Photo by AS Monaco Basket

Built for the next generation of explorers: the Aluna 127

A new yacht called the Aluna 127 will soon hit the market. It is being touted as the future of yachting; an industry that is seeing changing demands as younger generations call for vessels that match their need for adventure.  

Once upon a time, people who owned yachts typically spent summers cruising the Mediterranean and winters in the Caribbean. It was a wonderful way to chase the sun and to hold onto endless summers, but as time has gone on, tastes have changed.  

Today’s guest aboard a luxury superyacht is looking for adventure, excitement and perhaps a chance to go to places not so heavily populated or easy to access. It is a shift that has led to the creation of boats such as the Aluna 127. 

The Aluna 127, currently being built by FDC Yachts in Bodrum, Turkey and designed by Red Yacht Design, is being created expressly for the modern voyager who wants to get a bit more out of their experiences.  

Drop in by helicopter or head off to secluded coves and islands via private tender. Photo: Ocean Independence

The 38.8-metre vessel features a large aft deck where tenders or helicopters can be parked up, ready to make exploration of secluded spots a snap.  

This same space can be used for big events, making it a dual-purpose ship that can be a stand-alone or support yacht for bigger yachts.  

The steel and aluminium engine room has two 1,150 horsepower CAT diesel engines, providing top speeds of 15 knots and a cruising speed of 11 knots. At 10 knots, the tanks can carry passengers for 3,500 nautical miles without a refill.  

Inside, the yacht can host a dozen guests in style and comfort, whilst the owner’s suite has a private terrace. The main deck houses the multi-purpose area, as well as the dining room and salon. It is a great space for a gaming or movie-watching lounge.  

The 38.8-metre Aluna 127 is currently being built by FDC Yachts in Bodrum, Turkey and was designed by Red Yacht Design. Photo: Ocean Independence

Speaking about the under-construction project, Eric Trupheme, CA consultant of the Aluna 127 at Ocean Independence, says, “With the Aluna 127, we have a new type of yacht in our portfolio that comes across as very multifunctional and modern. I am sure she will generate a lot of interest. The build time is also only around two years.” 

The first Aluna 127’s delivery date is set for 2025 and the asking price from brokers Ocean Independence is €13,500,000. For more information on this refreshing concept yacht, contact   


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Photos supplied by Ocean Independence

New epic ‘Monaco’ film franchise announced

A new ‘Monaco’ film franchise co-produced by members of the Grimaldi family is in the works, with the first instalment titled ‘Part I – The Rock’.

Variety magazine has reported that, following the success of The Three Muskateers, Pathé and Chapter 2 are teaming up again to work on a new epic saga that sheds light on the origins of the Grimaldi dynasty.

Astrea is also producing the film, a company headed by Andrea and Pierre Casiraghi – Princess Caroline’s children – Pierre’s wife Beatrice, and Dimitri Rassam – the Lebanese/French film producer husband of Charlotte Casiraghi.

The film will focus on the Grimaldi family’s conquest of Monaco in the late 13th century. Martha Hillier (The Last Kingdom, Versailles) is writing the first instalment of ‘Monaco’ which is titled ‘Part I — The Rock’. Beyond that, the producers reportedly plan to expand the franchise into several movies and a TV series that will chart the adventures of the family throughout the centuries.

The project was initiated by Andrea Casiraghi after he started exploring the Palace archives.

“We were overwhelmed by the amount of untold, intriguing and epic tales that were hidden in ancient documents and private correspondence throughout the centuries,” Andrea said in a statement. “Ultimately, we decided to start at the beginning. Martha Hillier brought her passion and talent into telling the Grimaldi’s origin story by carving from those archives the most layered, witty and authentic characters.”

The House of Grimaldi was founded in 1160 by Grimaldo Canella in Genoa and became the ruling house of Monaco when Francesco Grimaldi captured Monaco in 1297. The House of Grimaldi has produced every Prince of Monaco since.

“I thought I knew this story but it turns out I had only scratched the surface. Simply said it is epic in every way: family, adventure, intrigue,” said Rassam. “The true story of the foundation of the Grimaldis of Monaco some seven centuries ago is one of the most captivating stories I have had the chance of discovering thanks to the initiative of Beatrice, Andrea and Pierre,” added the producer.


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Photo by Monaco Life