Basketball: Monaco are the Champions of France

AS Monaco Basket celebrating winning the French Championship

AS Monaco Basketball are the champions of France! The Roca Team clinched their third victory (85-92) against Boulogne-Levallois at Roland Garros on Thursday to secure their first-ever French title.

Amidst the Roca Team’s meteoric rise, there has been a fair share of heartbreak. Zvezdan Mitrovic’s Monaco missed out in a five-game thriller against Le Mans back in 2018, and then one year later, the same fate befell the Principality side. This time is it was Sasa Obradovic who took the team to the final, who were beaten by Asvel, incidentally managed by former manager Mitrovic.

Last season, Monaco failed once again to get their hands on the trophy, narrowly losing to Asvel – Elie Okobo, now a stalwart of the Roca Team grabbed the title from Monaco’s grasp on that occasion.

However, they weren’t to be denied on the fourth time of asking, securing a 3-0 series win over the Parisian side, meaning that Monaco finish the post-season unbeaten, having also remained unbeaten against Bourg-en-Bresse and Strasbourg.

“The greatest season of my life.”

The final game emulated the second in the series more than the first. The Roca Team trailed for much of the match with NBA-bound Victor Wembanyama (22 points) enjoying his best performance of this final series.

However, Monaco rallied late on, relying on the incredible efficiency of Jaron Blossomgame (22 points), especially outside the key, to bring the away side to within touching distance.

With under five minutes left on the clock, Okobo (16 points) then gave Monaco a slender lead (82-81). However, it was Jordan Loyd (22 points) who delivered the final blows with two monstrous, clutch three-pointers, the final one from the deep, to knock the wind out of Boulogne-Levallois.

The American, who has expressed a desire to remain at Monaco for the remained of his career, has become a favourite of Sasa Obradovic, and it was fitting that he would win Monaco their first French title.

Photo of Sasa Obradovic and the Roca Team by AS Monaco Basket

“Being champions is a mad feeling! We have had a great season with the third-place finish in the Euroleague Final Four, the French Cup, and know the title. It’s the best season of my life. Jordan was incredible at the end of the match. I knew he wouldn’t disappoint me,” said Obradovic.

Monaco in the top 30 teams in the world, according to Wembanyama

Monaco have been in a league of their own all season, both in the regular and post-season. Wembanyama will likely be happy not to have to face them again next season, but the French prospect, the top draft in the NBA, had some parting compliments for the Roca Team.

“It was an honour to have been able to play Monaco, who are surely in the top 30 clubs in the world,” said Wembanyama. After this season, undoubtedly the best in the club’s history, Monaco now have the job of consolidating their position as the kings of French basketball.



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Photo source: AS Monaco Basket