The Roca Team has managed to win the second game of the EuroLeague play-offs against Turkish side Fenerbahçe. After Wednesday’s defeat in overtime, Monaco’s basketball team was in desperate need of a victory. This time there was a happy ending after coach Obradovic’s team, just like last Wednesday, had a very difficult match post halftime. There are now two games in Istanbul, of which the Roca Team needs to win at least one of to keep a chance of playing the Final Four in Berlin.

Just as it was the case on Wednesday, the Roca Team started energetically and took a 9-0 lead within two minutes, including a three-pointer by Mike James. This seemed to set the tone for a beautiful evening at the Salle Gaston Médecin. Monaco was very productive in the first quarter, and even ran out to 26-11. Stazel, Blossomgame and Motiejunas were on a roll in this phase and eventually the first quarter ended with a margin of ten points; 31-21.

After a favourable start for the Monegasques, the Turkish team seemed to fight back slowly but confidently into the game. A large part of the deficit was erased in the second quarter; 54-50. The excitement was back in the game when Fener were very strong coming back out of the locker room for the second half, just like on Wednesday. Within four minutes, the score was tied at 62-62. The Turks even took the lead and ran further and further away in the third quarter; 65-74.

The Roca Team was suddenly in danger as a double home defeat seemed imminent, but in the final quarter Sasa Obradovic’s team took the reins again. Jordan Loyd and Blossomgame led the way providing a sensational turnaround. Halfway through the fourth quarter, Monaco took the lead again (77-75). It certainly remained exciting, but in the end the Roca Team managed to overpower the opponent, also thanks to the input of Okobo and again Loyd, who made the final score 93-88. Motiejunas was the top scorer with 18 points and was named man of the match.

The Roca Team has a difficult task ahead of them to stay afloat in the cauldron of Istanbul. If the team loses twice, the international season is over, but if Monaco wins one game out of two, it always has the advantage of playing the fifth game at home. “The pressure is now on Fener, but we have to be very courageous to play our best basketball. Of course we need to have Mike James at his highest level. He struggled tonight a lot with one of the best defenders in the EuroLeague,” Sasa Obradovic commented after the match.

Featured image: Mike James