Asvel snatches a decisive match 5 at home against Monaco

A decisive fifth match for the title! Asvel won against Monaco on Wednesday (85-68) in the fourth game of the final of the French basketball championship. It will receive the Roca Team on Saturday at 8:30 p.m. in a final duel, which will crown one of the two teams.

In the Gaston-Médecin room in Monaco, Asvel dominated the entire meeting by following two clear ideas: increasing defensive intensity and gaining skill behind the three-point line. “When we met such a collective strength in defense, it went very well,” said TJ Parker, the Villeurbannais coach, satisfied. From the outset, the Rhone dissuasion muzzled the Roca Team, forcing the Monegasque coach Sasa Obradovic to take a time out while his team was trailing 12-2. But at the end of the first quarter, the Villeurbannais were already leading 22-9 with much better marksmanship (60% against 25% for ASM).

A heat stroke from Mike James and Dwayne Bacon, combined with accumulated defensive pressure from their team in the middle of the second quarter, allowed the Monegasques to reduce the gap to less than ten points (30-23). But the balance of power did not change during the match. Asvel managed to find various offensive solutions: Marcos Knight and Chris Jones both scored 19 points, taking over from Elie Okobo, untenable at the start of the match but forced to sit on the bench more than expected after made several mistakes.

Decisive William Howard

Besides the back three, the determining factor of the match was undoubtedly William Howard, very skilful behind the three-point line. He scored thirteen points on four successful shots from five attempted, including one almost in the middle of the field just before halftime. Opposite, Alpha Diallo was invisible, while Dwayne Bacon and Mike James played a solo score. Admittedly, the former Brooklyn Nets point guard scored 34 points, but he woke up too late in the game and did not have a strong impact on the flow of the game.

“The team lacks collective cohesion. There is a lack of players who are together and who are looking together in the same direction, ”said Sasa Obradovic. “Yet this direction is clear. To win important games like this, you have to focus on defense. »

Monaco, however, retains a chance to win its first title of champion of France. This will require winning at the Astroballe, where the Roca Team remains on a slap (91-54). “We’re counting on a burning Astroball. We stayed there eleven consecutive games in vain, ”warns TJ Parker.

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