After their third place in the Euroleague, AS Monaco took the lead in the quarter-final against SIG in the play-offs.
Monaco holds its rank. Under the eyes of NBA superstar Kevin Durant, Sasa Obradovic’s players dominated Strasbourg (88-84) this Wednesday, at Gaston-Médecin, in the first match of the series between the two teams in the quarter-finals of the play- offs from Betclic Elite. And this only a handful of days after the Final 4 of the Euroleague, with the Roca Team who had won third place at the expense of Barça Sunday after collapsed against Olympiakos in the semi-finals on Friday. However, it was not easy for the ASM, largely shaken up this Wednesday on its land.
A page through Kaunas which undoubtedly explains at least in part the complicated start of the Monegasques, trailing 16-24 at the end of the first quarter and who spent the entire first period chasing after the score (31-37, then 39-40MT). However, ASM raised their defensive tone on the restart – like this against Yoan Makoundou (see bottom of page) – and Jordan Loyd caught fire (19 pts). Enough to turn in the lead (57-51). To be credited with an almost perfect performance in the first period after having conquered its ticket in the play-offs with the benefit of a crazy comeback at the end of the season, the Strasbourg team remained alive in the recovery despite the awakening of the Monegasque ogre , like this triple signed Marcus Keene, author of 22 points in the end (58-58). Better than that in fact: the SIG was still leading after the third quarter thanks to this basket from Léopold Cavaliere (10 pts), perfectly served by Keene, 12 seconds from the buzzer (63-64).
Match 2 Friday at Rhénus
However, more was needed to shake the Rock club, which begins the play-offs with the label of big favorite for the title. Always more defense, the awakening of Elie Okobo (17 pts) and Makoundou in the oven and at the mill, without forgetting the vista of Mike James (9 pts, 7 wt)… The Alsatians were overwhelmed (79-69). Control was now Monegasque, but Strasbourg made the suspense last again and again, despite the missed throws, the loss of the ball (19 in total, against 17). Ped by the ASM between 2017 and 2020, Paul Lacombe (19 pts) brought his people to a possession with 1’23 to play (82-79)! After the failures of Keene and Matt Michell under the circle in the last minute and the shots converted by Okobo, who had missed two a few minutes earlier, we could say that the carrots were cooked (85-79). It was without counting on a three-point action signed Bodian Ma (85-82). Indestructible, this SIG… Another 2/2 for Okobo, Keene in check from afar and, this time, it was done for AS Monaco (88-84 final score), in pain.
Remember that Asvel and Bourg-en-Bresse have already qualified for the semi-finals. The Mets 92 of Victor Wembanyama and Cholet will have to go through a support match. AS Monaco will travel to Rhénus on Friday (6 p.m.) for the second round of their series against Strasbourg, before a possible match 3, Sunday May 28 (9 p.m.), in the Principality. The winner will face JL Bourg for a place in the final of the 2022-23 French vintage championship.