In their second game of the Top 16 Eurocup, the Monegasques retained their chances of qualifying for the quarter-finals thanks to a victory against Rytas Vilnius Wednesday night (75-70).
Monegasque pivot Elmedin Kikanovic set the tone for the match between AS Monaco and Rytas Vilnius. The Lithuanians came into this decisive match riding three consecutive victories. Having lost their first match in the Top 16 the Roca Team needed to produce a solid performance to come out on top.
Early in the match, Monaco showed some of the same sluggish, imprecise play that brought them to lose in Berlin last week. Rather slack on defense, they allowed the visitors to go on a 13-0 run.
A promising reaction from the Roca Team
Despite a horrendous start, the Roca Boys would gradually fight their way back into the match. Their second quarter performance brought them into half-time practically neck-to-neck. In the final quarter, the home team produced the effort at the right time to reverse the trend in the last 10 minutes (28 -19). Derek Needham’s big basket at the end of the match allowed the Principality’s team to come away with a victory.
Elmedin Kikanovic put in a fantastic performance with 15 points and 3 rebounds. Jarrod Jones accompanied Kika with a very constructive 15 points and 8 rebounds.
“In the first half, we made too many mistakes, we were dominated on the rebounding blocks but we managed to secure a few key takeaways” noted coach Sasa Filipovski after the match. “We must give credit to Rytas who played hard and fought for every ball. They are a very good team. Our potential for going far is there, but it will depend largely on our health. “
With 1 victory and 1 defeat, Monaco balances its record in the Top 16.