Starting this Tuesday, June 4, the Roca Team will have to defend its French championship title in a best-of-five series of games comprising a Betclic Elite LNB final against Paris Basketball. The club from the French capital qualified for the final on Sunday evening by beating ASVEL Villeurbanne in a thrilling fight over five matches (3-2). On Friday, Paris escaped elimination in the fourth game by clinching the win in overtime.

It is the first time that Paris Basketball, founded in 2018 by former American director of the NBA’s Minnesota Timberwolves, David Kahn, has reached the final of the French championship. The club is having a strong season, having already won the EuroCup and the French Leaders Cup in recent months, including a 95-91 win against Monaco in the semi-finals. In the regular season, Paris finished in second place behind the Principality side.

Monaco already qualified for the finals by beating Le Portel (2-0) and Bourg-en-Bresse (3-1). Sasa Obradovic’s team has the advantage of playing the first two games, on Tuesday and Thursday this week, in their own Salle Gaston Médecin in Fontvieille. After that, Paris will receive the title holder in the Adidas Arena, where the upcoming Olympic basketball tournament is set to takes place. A possible fifth and final match will be played in Monaco again.

The Finnish coach Tuomas Iisalo of Paris Basketball is not happy that the final starts two days after the last semi-final. “I don’t know if my players now have enough time to recover from the efforts of the last few days. In fact, we are now playing with casino money, and it is even or double. But we’re going to do everything we can to win. We’ve already beaten Roca Team in the Leaders Cup, so we know how that feels. It’s not impossible to win against that strong team. But playing this final is already special.”

The Roca Team were crowned French champions for the first time in the club’s existence last season, when they defeated Boulogne Metropolitans-92 in the final with star player Victor Wembanyama. At the time, the Monaco basketball team became champions of the Betclic Elite in the then specially converted tennis stadium of Roland Garros.

Featured image courtesy of @LNBofficial on X