The Monegasque team signed a great feat by winning in the hall of the Greeks (96-72) to come back to 1-1.
After a failed start to the game, Monaco basketball players rebelled to overthrow Olympiakos, win 96-72 in Piraeus on Friday evening in the Stade de la Paix et de l’Amitié, and equalize with a victory everywhere in Euroleague quarterfinals.
Thanks to this success, the Monegasque Roca Team recovers the advantage of the field, since it will host the next two matches in its Gaston-Médecin room in five and in seven days, and will have the possibility of concluding the series, which is played at best of five matches to reach Final 4 in Belgrade (May 19-21).
“Mentally, we were much more ready for this game and it’s completely different from the first. We knew what we wanted, we defended much better“, rejoiced the coach of Monaco, Sasa Obradovic.
Friday, in a once again well-stocked stadium in Piraeus (it can accommodate up to 14,000 spectators), the Monegasques experienced five minutes of madness in the second quarter, and inflicted a 20-0 which allowed them to take control (from 21-15 for Olympiakos to 35-21 for Monaco).
Prize-winning baskets from Danilo Andjusic and Yakuba Ouattara, established in the starting five, a dunk from Donta Hall received very close to Giannoulis Larentzakis, a pass from Paris Lee transformed into a three-point basket: in the space of a few actions, Monaco completely reversed the physiognomy of the match.
Mike James breaks free
This grain of madness had failed them two days ago for the first match of the series, during which the players of the Principality had learned a lesson of the very high level (71-54).
On Friday, Monaco returned to the locker room with a twelve-point lead (40-28) and finally saw the awakening of its star Mike James in the third quarter to escape the score.
Author of only two points on free throws in the first twenty minutes, James ended the meeting with 23 points in the end, monstrous for fifteen minutes and logically named man of the match, he who had been in difficulty during the first round.
“In the first match, I was passive, I didn’t attack as much as I wanted. For this match, I wanted to be sure to be aggressive enough“commented the 31-year-old American. “It’s gonna be a long streak, it’s a good team, we’ll keep fighting“, he added.
Monaco inflicts a correction on Olympiakos in its almost impregnable citadel (only one defeat in the regular season in its room), at the level of the victory won against the Piraeus team during the Euroleague regular season a just over four weeks in the Principality (92-72).
Monaco, a novice in C1, can thus continue to dream of a Final 4 of Euroleague, stage of the queen competition of European basketball that no club in the French Championship has reached since Villeurbanne in 1997.