Roca Team Monaco must play a fifth game against Maccabi Tel Aviv on Wednesday (at the Salle Gaston Médecin) to reach the Final Four in Kaunas (Lithuania). That’s the result of Monaco’s heavy defeat at the second match in Tel Aviv on Thursday.
After last Tuesday’s heroic victory, Monaco were unable to repeat that stunt. Maccabi threw everything into the fight to win this game and struck hard after the first quarter, in which Monaco still had a lead. The result was of extraordinary proportions for the Israeli champions, who even crossed the 100-point mark. Monaco must recover from this KO (104-69), which may still have psychological consequences for the fifth match.
Roca Team started well and finished the first quarter with a big lead (17-24). But then Maccabi broke Monaco completely, with a series of 20 points within five minutes without Monaco scoring (37-24). At half-time, Maccabi’s lead was already so big (47-36) that Monaco were already heading towards a fifth game. Monaco reacted apathetically and saw the opponent run further and further away. Manager Obradovic was so angry that he himself was sent off, when the score was 70-50. After the third quarter the Maccabi fans were already celebrating victory because the score was 79-53. The match was played and the last ten minutes were a formality. Maccabi humiliated Monaco (104-69), but both teams have still one match to qualify for the Final Four. It will be a real final in Fontvieille.
David Cozette, the commentator of the match for l’Equipe-TV said: “At the start of the week the aim was that Monaco would play the fifth match. The result of tonight is not nice, but in the end Monaco did win in Tel Aviv, winning one match and that was essential. Winning twice in Tel Aviv was simply impossible. Hopefully the fans of Monaco can help Roca Team to win the last match. It would be great for Monaco and for France if Roca Team will be at the Final Four.”
FILE PHOTO: Coach Obradovic Roca Team