Basketball/Playoffs: Monaco - Elan: this time there was a match!

Basketball/Playoffs: Monaco – Elan: this time there was a match!

The same starting five as Thursday with however a major change: the presence of Prince Albert in the stands! If the Elan seem to be off to a better start, with laudable defensive intentions (2-3, 2e), the illusion is cut short by two straight triples from Ouattara born from two stray Bearnaise balls (8-3, 3e). Eric Bartecheky quickly launches Bibbins who signs his entry with two fruitful penetrations which prevent his team from taking an early broth (12-7, 5e). Faced with the liveliness of…

The same starting five as Thursday with however a major change: the presence of Prince Albert in the stands! If the Elan seem to be off to a better start, with laudable defensive intentions (2-3, 2e), the illusion is cut short by two straight triples from Ouattara born from two stray Bearnaise balls (8-3, 3e). Eric Bartecheky quickly launches Bibbins who signs his entry with two fruitful penetrations which prevent his team from taking an early broth (12-7, 5e). Faced with the vivacity of the defense deployed by Monaco, the Elan must redouble their extra-passes to find decent shooting positions. Two distant successes from Jefferson and Hrovat respond to Diallo’s good passage and leave the Pau (4 out of 6 at 3 points in this quarter) in ambush (18-13, 8e). Hrovat chained 5 new points to maintain the gap to a single possession despite an already worrying domination of the Monegasques on the rebound (10 to 5).

DATASHEET

MONACO 79
29 of 68 shots including 6 of 19 at 3 pts. 15 of 19 shots. 44 rebounds (20 offensive). 15 assists. 14 stray bullets. Collective assessment: 88 (six players between 11 and 18)
Have played: Diallo 13, Motiejunas 4, Ouattara 10, Fall Faye 6, James 13; then Bacon 20, Westermann 2, Thomas 5, Hall 6
Coach: Sasa Obradovic
ELAN BEARNAIS 72
24 of 55 shots including 11 of 28 at 3 pts. 13 of 15 shots. 26 rebounds (8 offensive). 15 passes. 15 stray bullets. Rating: 76 (Bibbins 24, Hrovat 18).
Have played: Jefferson 5, Oniangue 12, Hrovat 19, Chikoko 2, Sané 6; then Bibbins 19, Leloup 5, Ayayi 2, Ndiaye 2
Coach: Eric Bartecheky
At Monaco (Louis II, Gaston-Medicine). The quarters: 22-20; 24-15; 17-12; 16-25. Spectators: approx. 2500.

►2nd QT: Monaco – Pau 46-35 (24-15)

A sterile first minute, then the big show: a wild alley hoop by Donta Hall to whet the appetite, before, on the next attack, to attend one of the dunks of the season, a mind-blowing thing falling from the left arm de Bacon, left in the air from the outside of the racket to crush everything in the iron puck (26-20, 12e). Bacon extra cheese! Obligatory and beneficial Pau time-out. Hrovat scored his third 3-point basket which cooled the assembly (28-25, 13e). Monegasque size and muscles are beginning to weigh, however. At the 15e, the Roca Team swallowed more offensive rebounds (7) than the Elan in total rebounds (6)! Logically, the score identifies this domination (33-25, 16e). Offensively, the red and whites have already found nine markers when those of Elan stop at four (36-27, 17e). An offensive rebound swallowed by Bibbins under the passive truffles of the big locals, irritates Obradovic who orders a time-out on the spot. Diallo restores order by following (39-29, 18e). James and Bacon take care of the last layer which allows ASM to reach the break with their biggest gap (+11).

►3rd QT: Monaco – Pau 63-47

Bibbins and Jefferson are at the helm of an Elan who would like to be able to rely on Chikoko. Tormented, the pivot scored his first points in the 22e (51-40, 22e). It would take others to compete with an opponent not returned to the floor to manage his cushy nest egg. On the contrary, under the leadership of a demonic Mike James, Monaco takes off a little more (55-40, 24e). The Elan frankly does not have much to be ashamed of, opposite it is simply stronger, bigger, more talented (59-43, 26e). And what defense! It closes all access to the circle. And on the rare openings, the Elan misses the target. The end of the quarter turns to the ordeal for the visitors (61-43, 28e) who lost Ndiaye, touched in the knee, and who scored only one basket (Hrovat) in five effective minutes. Mr. Albert has obviously seen enough, he left his princely chair a long time ago.

►4th QT: Monaco – Pau 79-72 (16-25)

Ndiaye injured, Chikoko not at best, Elan resumed with Sané installed in position 5, assisted by Leloup in 4. A slightly light racket to contain the local menagerie (65-47, 32e). Oniangue, highlighted by fast play, finally finds the mojo at 6.75m. His three successes in a row allow the Béarnais to avoid the drowning which seemed inevitable just a little earlier (69-59, 34e). Better, Ayayi replaces his people under ten in stride (69-61, 35e). Suddenly, Monaco is less clever. After time-out, it’s a real playoff finish, hard and relentless. Bibbins brings Elan closer to 6 twice (71-65, 37e ; 73-67, 38e) before Bacon, cold as a scalpel, delivers Monaco with a clear triple at zero degrees (76-67, 1’50 to play). Thomas drives the last nail of a neat 2 + 1 (79-67, 1’33) without preventing the Palois from winning their first quarter of the series.

The Elan therefore logically lost a second time in two days on the floor of Gaston Medecin. This time by having proposed a resistance in relation to its strengths of the moment. It will obviously take more on Tuesday evening at the Palais des sports (8:30 p.m.) to hope to push this semi-final to a fourth part which would again take place in Pau next Thursday.

One of the keys to the upcoming match 4 obviously lies in Elan’s ability to better control a rebound hitherto owned by Monaco: 44 to 26 this Saturday (20 offensive rebounds to 8).

The Palois will have a whole night back by bus to work on the necessary adjustments to push this impressive Roca Team to its limits.

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