AS Monaco Basketball got their Euroleague playoff series back on track with a convincing victory over Maccabi Tel Aviv (86-74) on Thursday.
The scenes of Monégasque jubilation inside the Salle Gaston Médecin after Thursday’s victory starkly contrasted with the despondency in the wake of the defeat against the Israeli side just 48 hours earlier (67-79).
Career record for Jordan Loyd
The Roca Team came into the second game of the series desperately in need of a win. Luckily, they were unrecognisable to the team that succumbed to a sapping defeat on Tuesday; aggression and efficiency returned to their game at the right time.
Whilst the collective performance bore little resemblance to the first match, this is a match in which individual quality also proved decisive. No player was more improved than Jordan Loyd (two points in the first match), whose 33 points on the night are a career record in the Euroleague for the American.
“In the first match, we were surprised.”
It was during the third quarter that Tuesday’s game was lost, but Thursday’s match was won on the return from the dressing rooms as Sasa Obradovic’s men stepped on the accelerator, leaving Maccabi in their wake (67-54).
Obradovic has righted the ship with the sides heading into next Tuesday’s game in Israel all square.
“Firstly, I have to say that we didn’t have time to prepare for this series after the Coupe de France. In the first match, we were surprised and, from a tactical point of view, it was difficult. We had the reaction we needed in this second game,” said the Serbian coach.
The series is tantalisingly poised, with Monaco under pressure to get at least one result in the cauldron of Tel Aviv.
Photo by AS Monaco Basket