Though they held the lead going into the 35th minute, Monaco’s Roca Team fell to Germani Basket Brescia in EuroCup play, 86-80.
At home against Italian team Germani Basket Brescia, the situation looked positive for the Roca Team in early play. Coming into the game with a potential Top 16 berth down the line, Monaco started hot, leading 21-9 in the 8th minute, and 50-39 going into the half. Their heat fizzled out when it counted, however, as Brescia outscored them 26-14 in the fourth quarter and 14-5 in the last five minutes of play.
Strong performances came from Monaco’s Yakuba Ouattara (19 points on 5-of-10 shooting from the 3-point arch, 3 rebounds) and Brescia’s Byron Allen (22 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists). Jarrod Jones also made a respectable contribution to the Monégasque effort (17 points). Complete stats are available on the EuroCup website.
After three consecutive EuroCup victories, we expected to see more of the same from Monaco at home against Brescia. Especially considering their first match in Brescia in early October, which saw the Roca Team in nearly complete control.
What happened to Monaco?
The momentum shift occurred at the end of the match with lackadaisical defending from the home team. Easier shot selection led to growing confidence from Brescia’s shooters who made 11 of their 24 three-point attempts throughout the match. The Italians took advantage of their late opportunities to come away with the victory 86-80.
This marks Monaco’s second loss in EuroCup group play. At the moment they are second behind Red Star Belgrade. There were no changes to the top of the pool as Belgrade also suffered a loss to Ulm (95-80).
Monaco’s coach Sasa Filipovski had this to say after the match: “Congratulations to Brescia, they played some very good basketball, particularly in the offensive half. Many of their players had a good night on the floor. On our side, we tallied 21 assists, which is a good number, but we have to defend better in order to win.”
Currently ninth in the Jeep Elite standings, the Roca Team was coming off a tough duel against Limoges this past Saturday. It remains to be seen whether this is a mere stumble from AS Monaco or a sign of things to come. Like with all international competition, the fierceness of EuroCup play will only intensify as the season goes on.