At the end of an intense duel that went into overtime, Levallois took down the Monaco Roca Team 87-89.
Monaco opened the game in great form against Levallois. Coming in strong off of their EuroCup victory against Red Star in Belgrade, the Roca Team found Elmedin “Kika” Kikanovic early and often. This was followed up with a strong first quarter finish by Paul Lacombe who closed out the period with 5 consecutive points.
Lacombe continued showing the hot hand (21 points) and kept his team ahead. Unfortunately for Monaco, Levallois did not stay behind for long. With fluid, collective play the Parisian side shared scoring between its lineup with five players registering over ten points. Even though the Levallois trainer had to take Yarou off the floor due to foul trouble. The Roca Team went into halftime leading 44-33.
The visiting team’s Jaron Johnson put in an excellent performance (20 points) with help from Rasheed Sulaimon. The match’s intensity picked up in the final 10 minutes. The substitutions of Barry and Jones combined for 31 points, giving the Principality’s team a bit of breathing room. The Levallois’ tenacity allowed them to stay in the game. The game’s final minutes proved t be very exciting. Johnson hit a late three-pointer only to have Barry reply immediately. Michineau followed up with another long-range shot. Julian Wright equalized the score at 80-80 with 25 seconds left on the clock. The score remained unchanged as the game ended, leading to overtime.
Mophataou Yarou, Levallois’ top scorer so far this season, would prove to be the tipping point for the match as he scored two decisive baskets. Levallois imposed themselves 89-87 on the Monégasque floor to take first place in the Jeep Elite.
Impressions after the game
Coach Sasa Filipovski had this to say after the match: “Congratulations to Levallois for their victory. We played well on the offensive end, but we lacked energy at the end of the game. We lost our concentration and made some mistakes on defense, especially when rebounding. There was a lot of deception going back to the locker room. Now, we have to regroup and band back together.”