Roca Team has made a good start to the final for the French championship. Monaco’s basketball team won its first game (in a best-of-five series) against Metropolitans 92 (Boulogne-Levallois) in front of a home crowd on Saturday with a rare dominance at this level: 87-64. On Monday evening, the second game will be played in Salle Gaston Médecin. On Thursday, coach Sasa Obradovic’s team can already take the title at the Roland Garros tennis park, which will be set up especially for this final from today (after the Djokovic-Ruud final) in a basketball stadium. It would be the crowning glory of an incomparable season. 

Monaco were dominant on Saturday against the surprising No. 2 of the French league with the super talent Victor Wembanyama in the ranks. The 4,800 spectators saw Monaco suddenly walk away from their opponents after a balanced start in the first six minutes (13-11). After the first quarter it was already 23-15 and in the second quarter it became a dominance with an intermediate score of 23-2 within six minutes, with great scores from Okobo, Loyd, James and Brown. The great combination play of the Monegasques made a big impression. At halftime it was 52-21 and the game had already been played.   

After half-time, Roca Team slowed down a bit but Mike James and John Brown III demonstrated their top form. Wembanyama and Konaté had no chance of getting their team back in the game. After the third quarter, the score was 71-37 to the delight of the crowd. Only then did Monaco let the reins loose and Mets 92 was able to snatch some of the deficit in the final quarter. The final score remained impressive: 87-64.  

Coach Obradovic was very happy afterwards: “We started this final with the right attitude. From the first minute my team had the game in its hands and especially in the first half it reached a high level. It is now too early to cheer or to take a step back. We have to win two more games before we can call ourselves champions. It is especially important to stay focused now.”   

Roca Team can become French champions for the first time in its existence, having already lost the final three times in the past five seasons. In this year, the Monaco club has already claimed the Coupe de France (also for the first time in its existence) and finished third in the EuroLeague. The club played in the fourth level of French basketball nine years ago, but has undergone a stormy development since its takeover by Ukrainian businessman Sergey Dyadechko. Two years ago Aleksey Fedoriscev took over the club and since then Roca Team has been part of the EuroLeague, after winning the EuroCup in 2021.  

FILE PHOTO: Roca Team with HSH Prince Albert earlier this season