Saturday April 22 will remain etched in the legend of AS Monaco Basket. Sasa Obradovic’s Roca Team went to Bercy to win the first French Cup in its history one that can now be proudly stored it in its trophy cabinet.
In a sold-out hall there were 550 Monegasque supporters cheering wildly in the stands. Facing Asvel, their biggest rivals and almost to the point of being fondly thought of as enemies, Mike James, Elie Okobo (MVP) and team-mates simply went it alone from the first minutes of this final, so as not to leave any room for suspense. It was a sparkling victory (90-70), and a strong message sent at the dawn of a final sprint which will begin with the reception of Maccabi for the first round of the Euroleague play-offs. Gaston-Médecin will be boiling hot to celebrate its heroes and encourage them.
The Final of the Coupe de France
For this intense final of the Coupe de France, which was a clash of titans between the Roca Team and Asvel, there emerged only one winner after 40 minutes. Sasa Obradovic decided on a classic starting five with Mike James, Elie Okobo, Jaron Blossomgame, John Brown and Donatas Motiejunas. Opposite it’s the same with Dee Bost, De Colo, Lighty, Noua and Fall.
Sasa Obradovic’s men start with a bang in this final, not letting Asvel breathe, suffocated by the Asemist defense, and not successful in shooting. On the other side of the field, as usual Donatas Motiejunas scored the first Monegasque points. Jaron Blossomgame uses his athletic qualities, and Elie Okobo proves to be too fast in the transition game. 10 points ahead after 4 minutes of play and TJ Parker takes the first time-out of this match (12-2). The festival continues with Roca Boys more than ever involved.
The Roca Team collective shines in all areas of the game. A basket at the buzzer means that ASM has an 18-unit cushion at the end of this Q1 (33-15).
The Villeurbannais finished this first period a little better thanks to their strong men, Fall, Dee Bost and De Colo, who had been perfectly muzzled. At the break, the Roca Boys finally have a 17-point lead (49-32).
In the second period there will be still 20 minutes to go to get the first French Cup in the history of the club. Upon returning from the locker room, Sasa Obradovic chose an identical starting five with Mike James, Elie Okobo, Jaron Blossomgame, John Brown and Donatas Motiejunas. For TJ Parker this is not the case since he decides to lead with Dee Bost, Nando De Colo, Lighty, Kahudi and Tyus.
But it was the same story from the start of this third quarter. The Roca Boys are virtually playing on their own, and Asvel simply does not have the weapons to compete against this formation running at full speed. The biggest gap in this final is reached during this third quarter with a 25-point lead for Monaco.
Physically, mentally, in all areas, the Roca Team is simply one or even several dimensions above its opponent of the day. At the dawn of the last ten minutes, the band of Sasa Obradovic has a 24-point lead (74-50).
With 5 minutes to go, the 550 supporters present in the stands give voice to push their proteges in the most beautiful fashion that exists. These last minutes will seal this one-sided final a little more to win by 20 points in the end (90-70).
The first French Cup in the history of AS Monaco lands on the Rock. What a masterful performance from Sasa Obradovic’s men and what a treat for the supporters who made the trip. Smiles, joy, communion, a jam-packed Bercy, a basketball party in which Monaco was quite simply the only actor during this final. Make way for a short celebration now, before ROCA head to the Euroleague play-offs.