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The Mother of All Battles: ASM Against Their Biggest Rivals Olympiakos

In this 12th encounter in just three seasons between the two teams, the Peace and Friendship Stadium is packed with 12,000 passionate supporters.

But it ends up a cruel blow for the Roca Team. Similar to losses against Partizan and Panathinaikos, the defeat at the Peace and Friendship Stadium against Olympiakos hurts. Despite a collective effort led by Mam Jaiteh, Monaco fell just short in this high-level encounter, played in an atmosphere worthy of Euroleague playoffs. Olympiakos confirmed their strong form with a fourth victory in the competition against ASM (73-75). For Yakuba Ouattara and teammates, it has been a challenging double-week with two losses.

The Match

It was the 19th round of the Euroleague, Roca Team facing Olympiakos where Monaco made a name for themselves in their first Euroleague season. Memories of a heated series ending in a Game 5 defeat in Greece. The rivalry between the two teams is palpable.

The stakes are different this time. Monaco aimed to bounce back after a worrying loss to Maccabi in Belgrade while Olympiakos were seeking to build on their victory against Milan. Both contenders, with identical records before the kickoff (10 W, 8 L), were striving to secure a strong position in the standings. Before this round, seven teams shared similar win-loss records, showcasing a highly competitive Euroleague.

The lineup sees Mam Jaiteh starting as the center, alongside John Brown. 
Mike James and Yakuba Ouattara are at the back, with Alpha Diallo on the wing.

The game is fast-paced from the start, with the first referee timeout occurring after over seven minutes. Mam Jaiteh impresses, standing up to Moustapha Fall. Monaco leads with a solid performance (17-13) nearing the end of Q1.

The Roca Boys continue their impressive display, demonstrating a superb collective spirit. Donatas Motiejunas enters the game, contributing with his signature moves. The first quarter ends with Monaco ahead by 4 points (21-17).

In the second quarter, Mckissic fuels the Greek comeback with a dunk and an assist to Milutinov (24-24). Elie Okobo’s aerial shot puts Monaco back in the lead by 2 points (26-24). It’s a thrilling clash.

Georgios Bartzokas too calls his first timeout with Monaco in the lead (31-28).

Then Sasa Obradovic calls a timeout with 2 minutes and 18 seconds remaining in the first half.

Roca Team heads into halftime with a one-possession lead (36-34). It’s a true defensive and tactical battle, showcasing high-level play.

Everything Up for Grabs in the Second Half

In the second half, Sasa Obradovic maintains the lineup with Mike James, Yakuba Ouattara, Alpha Diallo, John Brown III, and Mam Jaiteh.

The back-and-forth continues at the beginning of the second half. Mam Jaiteh remains a force against Moustapha Fall, while Captain Yakuba Ouattara asserts physical dominance over Papanikolaou in transition. ASM holds a 3-point lead (42-39).

Highlighting a high-level contest, turnovers are minimal on both sides. Alec Peters, set up by Walkup, equalizes with a long-distance shot (42-42). John Brown III completes an “and one” play with a beautiful collective action involving Mike James and Mam Jaiteh (45-42). With five minutes left in Q3, Olympiakos enters the penalty. Monaco follows suit in the next action.

Donatas Motiejunas seamlessly replaces Mam Jaiteh.The Lithuanian center impresses with a penetration, two free throws, and a long-distance three-pointer from the right corner. With Motiejunas leading, the Roca Boys reclaim a 6-point lead in the midst of this intense struggle (54-48). Also thanks to the significant effort from Yakuba Ouattara, who unleashes his determination to retrieve offensive rebounds.

But the Piraeus team does not give up, far from it. Especially Isaiah Canaan, who shines in the late third quarter. The American guard, having struggled so far, regains composure with four free throws and a three-pointer. This means that at the dawn of the final ten minutes, Sasa Obradovic’s squad holds a 2-point lead (58-56).

Mam Jaiteh is still on fire, demonstrating how valuable he can be. He scores four consecutive points in the paint, showcasing excellent form, providing the Roca Boys with a slight breathing space with a six-point lead. 

But this match is completely crazy on both sides of the court. Olympiakos doesn’t relent, and this Euroleague race is utterly wild. Mckissic and Peters hit consecutive three-pointers, bringing them level on the scoreboard (62-62). This visibly frustrates Sasa Obradovic, prompting him to call a timeout with over six minutes remaining.

And as we enter the final four minutes of this clash, everything is still up for grabs. The tension intensifies with the crowd pushing like never before, reminiscent of playoff encounters from two years ago.

Canaan ignites the Peace and Friendship Stadium with a three-pointer, but Elie Okobo quickly silences the crowd with a response. Mouss Fall equalizes with two minutes left on the clock (69-69).

The Monégasques deliver a remarkable performance in this intense atmosphere. Sasa Obradovic takes a timeout (69-69).

Mckissic scores, the Greek supporters are ecstatic, and Olympiakos takes a three-point lead with 23 seconds remaining (69-72). Elie Okobo makes just one of two free throws, while Canaan remains composed. Despite Mike James’s crucial shot attempt, the Roca Boys end up losing by two points (73-75). 

It’s tough to accept, but this duel will remain in the annals of clashes between these two teams.

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