Victorious in the boiling Athenian halls of Panathinaikos and Olympiakos earlier in the season, AS Monaco will not achieve a passing of three in the Partizan Belgrade cauldron. The Roca team lost heavily on Thursday night (80-100), weighed down by a nightmarish fourth quarter. Kept alive for 30 minutes by the aggressiveness of Elie Okobo (17 points, 9 assists) and the energy of Alpha Diallo or Donta Hall (11 cumulative rebounds), France’s runner-up ended up breaking.
Unrecognizable in the attack, as Mike James (9 points, 2 of 12 shooting), Monaco saw Danilo Andjusic (12 points, 4 of 4 from behind the arc) and Partizan regain the efficiency of three points to fold the case (85-73, 35 .). Sasa Obradovic’s men remain co-leaders in the Euroleague but miss the chance to take control alone by benefiting from defeats to Barcelona and Baskonia earlier in the evening.
An evening outside James
In Serbia, Rock’s elders got in the way. Not used by Sasa Obradovic in the Betclic Elite playoffs last season, defender Danilo Andjusic launched the Serbian wave at the end of the game with his long-range arrows (12 points, 4 of 4 behind the arc). Close to the circle, Mathias Lessort finished his demolition work (21 points, 8 rebounds) against the Monegasque racket.
Miraculously against Zalgiris Kaunas last Thursday (84-82), a night in which Mike James had not scored a single basket, AS Monaco could not make up for the game this time without their star leader. James hit the mark on his first two attempts … before missing the next ten.
Lost in a collection of poor choices – a shot fired 11 meters in the middle of possession – the Portland native was kept head under water by the Serbian defence. As against the Lithuanians, Elie Okobo (17 points, 9 assists) supported by Yakuba Ouattara (10 points) soared to erase a first outbreak at the start of the match (from 9-19 to 33-32). Too little to cover Partizan and Stark Arena.