Having lost in the EuroCup Top 16 to Berlin, the Roca Team will now depend on a favorable alignment of other finalists’ results in order to reach the tournament’s quarterfinal round.
What the team most feared has come to pass. With their recent loss to Alba Berlin (75-61) during the 5th day of Top 16 play, Monaco no longer quite controls their own destiny. With the recent result, the prospect of playing in the quarterfinals of the EuroCup is much further away, in spite of their great start to the competition.
The Roca Team could not withstand the onslaught of their group’s best team. As so often when they have had a bad night, the Monegasque players appeared static, yet continued to shoot from behind the arc despite repeated failures (8/24). Alba Berlin did not wait for things to get any better for their adversaries Aggressive on the attacking front (18 offensive rebounds) and effective on the defensive boards (17 defensive rebounds), the Germans surprised the Monegasques from the jump, who fell behind by 10 points by the end of the first quarter.
A victory and the right result
Lacking pace, the Roca Team reacted however in the second quarter thanks to better defense, the statistical best in the European competition. But their improvement (eight minutes without allowing any points) would be short-lived. Back from the locker room, the Berliners, led by an excellent Rokas Giedraitis (19 points), regained control of the match without any apparent effort, maintaining a ten point lead until the final buzzer.
To qualify for the quarter-finals, the Roca Boys will have to win their last group match against Rytas Vilnius next Tuesday. But, “if we play like that, we have no chance,” warned a Paul Lacombe who also had a tough match on Tuesday night (5 points only) beside Elmedin Kikanovic (6 points).
To make matters worse, the Roca Team will also require on a favorable result in the match between Berlin and Partizan. The situation is definitely a complicated one for Monaco who hopes to earn entry to the quarterfinals despite this latest stumble.
*Article originally published on the French edition of the Monaco Tribune.