The Roca Team has hurt its title defence chance, having lost the second game of the finals of the French championship to Paris Basketball by 70-77 on Thursday, June 6. With this home loss, the overall score is tied after two games, and the basketball team of Monaco must win at least one of the next two games in the Parisian’s Adidas Arena to hold on to the prospect of title prolongation.

Just like in the semi-final against Bourg-en-Bresse, coach Sasa Obradovic’s team was not been able to win both home games. Then there was a loss on the Saturday before the Monaco Grand Prix, as the players didn’t seem to be thinking about the game. This time, the Roca Team got off to a dramatic start against a highly motivated Paris Basketball, who played much better than they did in the first game two days prior.

The game got interesting right away with a three-pointer by Paris’ Tyson Ward within five seconds. Monaco seemed bluffed and didn’t have their sights set right. In the first three minutes, no point was made at all and only after eight minutes was a point scored from a set piece, with the Monegasques also being very sloppy with free throws. Paris ran out to 14-2, much to the frustration of Obradovic, who saw his players fail across the board. The first quarter ended with the less than ideal score of 11-25, in which the well performing French international, Nadir Hifi played a significant part with three three-pointers.

Still, Obradovic and his men managed to erase the deficit in the second quarter, as Jordan Loyd, Billy Yakuba Ouattara and Alpha Diallo all posted up useful scores. Mike James made a three-pointer in the 18th minute to tie the score again (31-31), but Paris took the lead just before the end of the first half: 36-38.

The supporters of the Roca Team assumed that things would be fine in the second half, and it didn’t take long before the home team would take the lead: 41-39. But just at that moment, Paris switched to a higher pace and within two minutes it had a solid lead again (42-52) with the hosts having to chase again. In the end, part of this deficit would be erased at the end of the third quarter: 51-55.

In the final quarter, the differences remained small, but Paris, led by TJ Shorts, kept control of the game. With four minutes to go, the score was tied again (62-62), but once again Paris threw out a sprint, this time giving the guests the victory. A three-pointer by Hifi put an end to all doubts: 70-77.

It is a costly defeat for Monaco, which made an excellent impression on Tuesday, but in this second game lacked the sharpness that a defending champion should have in the finals. On Sunday, June 9, the third game will be played in the French capital.