Admittedly, nothing was easy last night for the Roca Team, but, in spite of their difficulties, Monaco beat Maccabi Rishon Le Zion (77-75) on the Stade Louis II hardwood. Unless an improbable scenario comes to pass, this victory ensures the Roca Team’s place in the Top 16, three games from the end of the first round!

Decidedly, basketball does not always rely on stats. The Israeli team won only one game this season in Eurocup? Yes, but it was already against Monaco a month ago! Last night, at Gaston-Médecin, Maccabi Rishon almost pulled off another upset. Feisty and creative, they posed many problems to the men of Sasa Obradovic, uncomfortable throughout the game. “I like aggressive play, racing, aerial, fast… We did not see much of that during this game,” said the Serbian coach after the match on the club’s official website.

A low-pressure matchup against Bologna on December 17th

But the essential came to pass: the ASM beat their opponent and has practically ensured their trip to the Top 16. After losing the first quarter (15-19), the Roca Boys managed to slow down Maccabi’s game and take back the advantage (40-33). Paul Lacombe (19 points), Eric Buckner (16 points, 7 rebounds) and Norris Cole (18 points) were skilled in the key moments of the game. This type of play is key for Monaco to keep their streak of four wins going.

This weekend, Monaco returns to JeepElite play when they receive Nanterre Sunday at 4 pm. A matchup that is reminiscent of Europe!

*Article originally published in the French edition of the Monaco Tribune.