First match point for Monaco against Paris

First match point for Monaco against Paris

Monaco is one step away from retaining its Elite crown, Wednesday (9:05 p.m.) in the Paris Basketball hall, its back to the wall and its head to be put right side up after its heavy defeat (88-59) in this same Arena door de la Chapelle during match 3.

After regaining the home field advantage (2 wins to 1) on Sunday, ASM intends to spare itself a decisive support match in two days at home, “always tricky and unpredictable” selon son pivot lituanien Donatas Motiejunas.

And put in the safe in the capital its second championship title, synonymous with a season saved after the loss of the Coupe de France and the elimination at the gates of the Final Four of the Euroleague. “So far, we haven’t won anything, and it’s at the end of the ball that we pay the musicians. The goal is to win the title to have a decent season, if not a good season in my opinion” Motiejunas further asserts.

To do this, the “Roca Team” will need to have the same degree of concentration and involvement as on Sunday, when it has too often blown cold after hot this season. “It’s a test of character. Every time we approach matches seriously, we put ourselves in a good position to win them. On Wednesday it depends on us, as almost every time, on the way we start, our attitude, the way we respect the opponent and the game situations. believes Monegasque coach Sasa Obradovic.

An awakening of Parisians?

The Serbian and Motiejunas expect an awakening from the Parisians, who were able to respond after their initial defeat in Monaco (90-80) by winning the second match two days later, in the Principality (77-70). “They were able to find adjustments, they will do the same tomorrow (Wednesday). They have nothing to lose. We will have to dictate the tempo of the match from the start, bring the same energy and the same physical impact as on Sunday. emphasizes Motiejunas.

The challenge of the Parisians, left behind in the first quarter of match 3 (28-14), is now reflected as in a mirror, according to point guard Nadir Hifi: “It’s clear that we need to stay in contact with them, make them doubt. When a team like Monaco gains confidence, they are hard to stop.” Despite Sunday’s rout, Hifi and his teammates believe in their chances of beating a third time, after match 2 and the Leaders Cup semi-final (98-93), “the best defense they have faced this season” according to their coach Tuomas Iisalo.

To maintain intact their goal of winning the club’s first championship title, created from scratch in 2018, and accomplish an incredible treble (with the Leaders Cup and the Eurocup). “We have absolutely no doubt that we can beat them. During all our training, we built up a lot of self-confidence, that’s the great strength of this group.” emphasized Iisalo.

And it doesn’t matter according to him the magnitude of the score in match 3, where Paris had been clumsy from long distance (19%, 6/31) and its star leader TJ Shorts confined to nine points. “We played very badly and they played very well, but in the end it doesn’t change anything whether we lost by one point or 30, the result is the same. Our backs are against the wall, the group is aware of the emergency.”

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