Roca Team has finished the regular season of the EuroLeague on the fourth place and will have an advantage at the start of play-offs in ten days. The basketball team of Monaco will meet Maccabi Tel Aviv (Israel) in a best of five-meeting in the quarter finals of the most important continental tournament. The first match will be on Tuesday April 25. The winner qualifies for the Final Four. Last year Monaco got eliminated at the quarter finals in the fifth match at Olympiakos (Greece). Two years ago Roca Team won the EuroCup. It was the first time that a professional team from Monaco won a continental trophy.

Roca Team had to finish the regular season on Friday with an away match at Anadolu Efes Istanbul. The team of manager Sasa Obradovic didn’t look very motivated and was already ten points behind when it made the first point itself. The Turkish side (11th in the ranking, but European Champions in the last two seasons) said goodbye to a disappointing season as titleholders but did everything to win this match. At half time Monaco had fought back but in the dying seconds it missed the chance to take the lead: 41-39. Roca Team’s play was typified by many misses in the three-pointer attempts (only 3 out of 23 were good). The best scorers were Stazel and Makoundou, who both accounted for 14 points, where the normal leaders of the team, like James, failed. In the last quarter Anadolu Efes could run away from the opponent and secure victory: 87-72.

It was the second defeat for Monaco in a row in the EuroLeague after having lost at home to Partizan Belgrade last week. Monaco finishes fourth behind Olympiakos, Real Madrid and Barcelona.

“It is always difficult to keep your motivation in this kind of matches. My players have done a great job during the season and will be very busy in the coming weeks. Sometimes I can’t ask more of them,” Obradovic warned the fans before travelling to Istanbul. Roca Team are still the leaders in the national championship and will also play the final of the French Cup. ASVEL from Villeurbanne is the opponent in Bercy-Paris on April 22. Harvest time has arrived.

PHOTO: Courtesy Roca Team