The basketball team of Monaco became French champions for the first time, with a resounding victory in the EuroLeague over Barcelona

In the full house of Gaston Médécin it was 91-71 for the Monegasques, who were on a roll throughout the match with the Catalans the title favourites. The game was a revenge for the consolation final of the EuroLeague last season, when Roca Team snatched third place in the final ranking from Barcelona. 

Coach Sasa Obradovic’s team got off to a very good start and ran out in the first four minutes with a 12-3 lead. The guests did not get out of the host’s stranglehold after that, despite some clever action by the star player and former NBA-star Jabari Parker. But the stars of Monaco were once again on a roll to the great enthusiasm of the public. 

Mike James would again become the brightest star of the evening and was good for 20 points but especially for some highlights. Alpha Diallo and Kemba Walker also showed their best side and were good for smart defensive plays and some valuable points. Diallo scored 19 points. Strazel, Cornelie, Motiejunas and Okobo also posed a permanent threat to the opponents, who were already trailing 47-36 at halftime. 

In the second half, Roca Team ran further and further away: after the third quarter it was 67-52. In the last quarter, Monaco had a run of seventeen points in a row without Barcelona being able to do anything back. At one point, the difference was even thirty points (89-59), but in the final phase, the Catalans fought back to keep the deficit bearable (91-71).

With this win, which follows a resounding victory at the home of Bayern Munich, Roca Team is back in the top 5 of the EuroLeague ranking, halfway through the competition. A good starting point to be able to begin 2024 ambitiously. In the French league, Roca Team is the clear leader with fifteen wins and one defeat. 

FILE PHOTO: Mike James