Basketball: Monaco maintains unbeaten streak in Betclic Elite

Monaco’s Roca team continues to dominate the Betclic Elite Championship, securing their ninth consecutive league victory in a clash against Gravelines-Dunkerque. Two days after their impressive triumph over Maccabi Tel Aviv (107-79) in the Euroleague, the Monegasque team faced a resilient Gravelines side but ultimately emerged victorious with a final score of 91-76.

The encounter was a face-off between extremes: the unbeaten Monaco and Gravelines-Dunkerque, struggling at the bottom of the league alongside Boulogne-Levallois. Monaco’s dominance in the league persisted, reaffirming their status as the leaders of the Championship.

Jordan Loyd’s triumphant return

While Monaco’s key players Donatas Motiejunas and Mike James were absent (with Kemba Walker not registered in the Betclic Elite), their team saw a significant addition in the form of Jordan Loyd. Loyd made a triumphant return following back surgery over the summer, contributing 15 points, two rebounds, and two steals in his first appearance.

Gravelines-Dunkerque’s resilience

The scoreline, however, fails to capture the full intensity of the match, as Gravelines-Dunkerque held their ground for over a half, leading 41-38 at the 20th-minute mark. The team took advantage of Monaco’s defensive vulnerabilities, with standout performances from Vafessa Fofana (19 points, four rebounds) and Tajuan Agee (17 points, six rebounds).

Monaco’s triple threat

Yet, the tide turned in favour of Monaco after the break, largely thanks to their impressive three-point shooting, connecting on 11 out of 23 attempts. Players like Yakuba Ouattara, Petr Cornelie, and Elie Okobo ignited several long-distance shots, putting Monaco to a 15-point lead (62-48) by the 26th minute and extending it to 17 points with a decisive shot from Alpha Diallo (74-57) in the 32nd minute. Diallo was a standout performer for Monaco, contributing 16 points and two steals.

As the reigning champions of France, Monaco remains undefeated and will now set their sights on a challenging matchup against Milan in the Euroleague on Thursday. Following that, they will return to defend their national dominance against Nancy on Saturday. Meanwhile, Gravelines-Dunkerque seeks to secure their first victory as they host Le Mans on the same day.

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Photo by Monaco Life