Roca Team, the basketball club of AS Monaco, won the Coupe de France for the first time in its existence on Saturday. The team of manager Sasa Obradovic played an outstanding match against ASVEL from Villeurbanne and won the final with 90-70 at the Accor Arena in Bercy-Paris in front of 15,667 spectators.
This result serves as a nice prelude to the end of a season that can become unforgettable. On Tuesday, Roca Team will start the play-offs in the EuroLeague, in which Maccabi Tel Aviv is the first opponent. After that, the team will also have to focus on the national championship in which it is the leader in the regular season.
Despite the busy schedule, the club gave a high priority to this final, because the Roca Team hadn’t won French silverware since the Leaders’ Cup in 2018. It won the EuroCup two years ago, as the first international success for Monaco in a team sport.
Roca Team showed the ambition from the start and immediately distanced themselves from their opponents. After seven minutes the score was already 24-7. After the first period (10 minutes) Monaco led 33-15. At this stage, individual feats of Okobo, James and Strazel made all the difference. ASVEL, who had beaten Monaco in the finals of the national championship in 2019 and 2022, seemed not able to react.
At half-time the team of manager Tony Parker had only cleared one point of the huge backlog: 49-32. The Lithuanian giant Motiejunas was the top scorer with 15 points. After half-time, Monaco increased the lead even further before controlling the game and securing victory: 90-70. The Americans Brown and James showed off their routine in the closing stages to secure the first grand prize. Former Monaco player Bost (the hero of the EuroCup final) got into a fight with Strazel (ex-ASVEL), which made the final phase even more spicy. But the superior way in which Monaco won this first grand prize of this season leaves us wanting more. Okobo, who had a great match, was chosen as MVP of this match. He was also the top scorer with 20 points.
Monaco only played in this final once before Saturday, 40 years ago, when it lost to Limoges (96-81). Roca Team won the Leaders Cup (the third trophy of France) three times from 2016 to 2018, and it can now win the French championship for the first time.
FILE PHOTO: Motiejunas Roca Team