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In brief

Betclic Elite: Roca Team wins first leg of finals hands down vs Paris

Mike James, MVP in the first leg of the Betclic Elite final
Mike James, MVP in the first leg of the Betclic Elite final © AS Monaco Basket

On Tuesday, June 4, AS Monaco Basket won the first match of the championship finals with a score of 90-80 against Paris Basket in the Gaston-Médecin sports hall.

Mike James and his team are perfectly poised for the rest of this grand final. Two sublime quarters from ‘The Natural’ were almost all it took for the Roca Boys to win the match. The American put in an outstanding performance with 31 points, a rebound and three assists, a record for him this season.


The Monegasques played quarters 2 and 3 with a constant lead of 20 points, enough to ensure a victory at the final whistle as the Parisians struggled with a low shooting success rate (40% for Paris against 51% for Monaco) and were unable to catch up.

A well-deserved victory for the Roca Team, in line, for the moment, with the championship rankings, since Monaco finished first and Paris second.

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James-Shorts: a promising duel for the rest of the final

There is clearly a duel brewing between the two attackers, and James took the first end in that duel, hogging all the limelight in the match. Finding the hoop from midfield on the buzzer, scoring blind and landing five successful three-pointers, Mike James is the hero of the final so far.

While on the other side, we might have expected more sparkle from T.J. Shorts, the best scorer of the regular season. Usually scoring over 20 points in most games, he only chalked up 17 against Monaco last night. The Macedonian scored no three-pointers, with only two-point baskets (6) and free throws (5) to take away from the match.

The next leg promises to be a fiery affair. The teams will fight it out at Gaston-Médecin again, this Thursday, June 6 at 6.30 pm, with the intensity and pressure going up at least a notch for both teams.

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