Basketball: Monaco begin Betclic semi-finals with a win

Mike James v Bourg-en-Bresse

AS Monaco Basketball are one step closer to the Betclic Elite final after beating Bourg-en-Bresse (96-79) on Monday in the first match of a five-match semi-final series.

The Roca Team made light work of Strasbourg in the quarter-finals to advance after a comfortable 2-0 series win. Now they find themselves on the right side of the draw: Monaco’s two closest challengers, Boulogne-Levallois and Lyon-Villeurbanne, will face off against each other in the other semi-final.

Kevin Durant once again in attendance

Monaco’s team is therefore a strong favourite to reach the final. The first match against Bourg-en-Bresse was wrapped up before halftime, and the Roca Team headed back to the dressing rooms with a 16-point advantage (48-32). That lead was never eaten into.

Donatas Motiejunas (20 points) inflicted much of the damage, whilst Mike James (12 points), Elie Okobo (13 points) and Jordan Loyd (12 points) shouldered the creative burden in front of Kevin Durant, who is becoming something of a regular at the Salle Gaston Médecin.

“From the opening minutes, we played with the aggression that we needed. The players have really come into this match in playoff mode,” said Sasa Obradovic post-match.

The Roca Team were wasteful in the final quarter, unnecessarily losing possession on multiple occasions and being hit in the transition, but there was no chance of a comeback as Obradovic’s men professionally sealed the win (96-79).

Monaco will be hoping to double their lead at the Salle Gaston Médecin on Wednesday. A victory would leave them within one win of the Betclic Elite final, which will take place later this month.


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Photo by AS Monaco Basket