Mike James’ return for AS Monaco Basketball against Limoges on Sunday coincided with the team’s first loss in 11 fixtures (83-76).
James’ (seven points) return from suspension wasn’t a winning one. Seven of the Roca Team’s victories during their 10-game streak came without the American point guard, but a late capitulation on Sunday brought an end to that run.
Sasa Obradovic announced after Monaco’s victory over Valencia on Friday, which guaranteed qualification for the Euroleague playoffs, that James would make his return in the Betclic Elite against Limoges.
The Roca Team manager said that they “needed his quality, especially with the games coming up.” And whilst James showed glimpses of brilliance, it wasn’t enough for the victory.
A 12-point lead squandered
Monaco took the ascendancy in the second quarter, and at one point (61-49), had a 12-point lead over their Betclic Elite opponents, who beat them during the first half of the season at the Salle Gaston Médecin. Limoges didn’t look capable of repeating that feat, but a dominant fourth-quarter display (28-15) allowed them to overturn their deficit, and dominate in money time in order to secure the victory (83-76).
The victory brings Limoges within one victory of the playoff places, whilst defeat for Monaco does little to hinder their quest for the end-of-season playoffs. They remain three victories ahead of Boulogne-Levallois, a lead which they can extend during the Parisian side’s visit to the Principality on 2nd April.
Before that, Monaco have two Euroleague clashes. They first travel to Kaunas before a trip to Munich on Friday, with the Roca Team looking to consolidate their place in the top four.
Photo by AS Monaco Basket