With fresh recruit Sergii Gladyr (aka the Gladyator) suiting up for duty, Monaco dealt Galatasaray a loss at the Gaston-Médecin Arena (76-71). With the win, ASM locked themselves into first place in Group A before they head into the EuroCup Top 16 elimination round.

The big story of the night was Sergii Gladyr’s return to the floor after having parted ways with Monaco 6 months ago. His entry on to the court brought a palpable energy with it, propelling the Roca Boys to a solid home victory. With the win, Monaco advances to the Top 16, while Galatasaray has been eliminated from the competition’s next round.

Action on the hardwood

With a packed crowd, Monaco came out in form. An offensive rebound + basket from Kikanovic created an initial separation (7-3), but Zach Auguste came back strong (7-5). A concentrated Paul Lacombe was necessary to keep Galatasaray’s Nigel Hayes in check.

After a tight first half (39-37), Monaco outscored their guests 24-9 in the third quarter to widen the gap to 63-46. From that point, they maintained control through the fourth. Filipovski’s players, who were able to count on the reinforcement of Sergii Gladyr (6 points to 2/5 in 3-points in 17 minutes) but unfortunately not that of Eric Buckner, resisted Galatasaray’s attempted end-of-match comeback to prevail 76 -71.

This marks ASM’s seventh win in nine EuroCup matches, earning them the top spot in Group A. While waiting for the start of the Top 16 in January, the Roca Team will be able to focus on the Jeep ELITE where they have struggled of late  (5 wins and 7 losses). They will need to win 4 of their next 5 games to hope to qualify for the Leaders Cup.

Impressions from coach Filipovski

Coach Sasa Filipovski said this after the match: “I am very happy for my team. We lost three games in the league after leading 10-12 points, and it put a bad taste in our mouths. This time, we did not give up, all the credit goes to my players. Despite the dangerous moments and injuries, my group remains solid. It’s a beautiful thing to finish first. We will continue to work. As they say in French, after the rain comes the good weather.”