Photo credit: AS Monaco Basket
After a season in Doctor Jekyll and Mister Hyde modes, the Roca Team will continue to show its two diametrically opposed faces from one night to the next until the end. After a successful match 3, the Monegasques are “back to their ways”, by admission of Yakuba Ouattara himself, while Sasa Obradovic seems disillusioned. The players of the Principality will have to play a decisive match 5 on Saturday at Astroballe.
As bewitching as it is annoying, this AS Monaco side will remain completely incomprehensible until the end of the championship. In a roller coaster season, the Roca Team has never been able to stabilize, not even in the final. Worse still, this series against ASVEL perfectly embodies Monegasque mood swings: an authoritarian entry victory at Astroballe (82-74), the heaviest defeat in the history of the finals (54-91), a magnificent reaction to afford the rocking match (83-80) then an inexplicable collapse (68-85) when the possibility of being crowned at home presents itself.
With just 7 assists, Sasa Obradovic’s men hinted at the worst of what their game has to offer. No collective fluidity, no movement, no desire to share the ball, defensive avenues abandoned to the Villeurbannais, opposing shooters placed in an armchair … What deeply irritates the Serbian coach, who no longer even bothered to hide that his team drive him crazy. The 1998 world champion seems to have no more springs, unable to find which lever to activate, depending on the good will of his managers. But at least with such a fickle group, poor performance is rarely followed by another day without it. Did the Monegasques play without urgency knowing they had a joker at their disposal? On Saturday, in a match without tomorrow, the story will certainly be different. But putting the champion back into play is clearly a dangerous game …
THE REACTIONS OF ASVEL
Yakuba Ouattara : “We clearly paid for the start of the match, we didn’t enter in the best way. When you take such a burst entry, it’s hard to go back. Why do they find their address? Because we trust them from the start. In the defensive phase we didn’t have the same aggressiveness as in the previous game. We put them in confidence and a confident team takes their shots in hand. During the first quarter they barely shot in three places, they just attacked the racket. One, two, three lay-ups … After that, of course, things went well for them. Tonight, we’re back to our habits. From the beginning of the season, I said one thing: we are an unpredictable team. We have two faces and today we have shown evil. It’s been the same battle all season – when you start playing individually and want to lead the team one after another, you get into trouble. On the other hand, when we start playing together like in games 1 and 3, it’s another story, we are hard to play. There, there is a lot of frustration because we would have liked things to happen differently. Losing is one thing but it’s mostly the way … We don’t honor our fans by producing basketball like this. On Saturday we must arrive ready, fight to the end for 40 minutes. I remember the epilogue of 2019 where the third quarter was fatal to us. The match will be played in 40 minutes. “
Sasa Obradovic : “We have seen these two faces since the beginning of the season. I really don’t understand… We weren’t quite ready for this kind of match. Everything we talked about before, everything we said we had to do, is gone. For me it is very difficult. I can’t understand … There is a plan and you can’t get out of the game for a bad whistle, a throw from your teammate. We get off dates because of things like that. I miss the players who are together, who talk together. We give ourselves a clear direction then we play a totally opposite basketball, I can’t train if that’s the case. It is very difficult to adapt. I want to give my players freedom. I can accept that they want to show their talent. But that’s not how you win big games – you have to focus 100% on defense first. It’s the same scenario as in Match 2: we give easy points and on the other side of the field, we take turns shooting instead of thinking about sharing the ball, involving everyone. We know it is our weakness. Maybe the Final Four also cost us: sometimes we stop playing altogether, we don’t have the same intensity anymore. Now we need to calm down and remember what allows us to win games. The brand needs to be better distributed, like the one we see alongside ASVEL. Our chances will be higher this way. This game should be behind us now, let’s see how to regain our confidence and attack game 5 with absolute confidence. Otherwise, it won’t work. “
June 23, 2022 at 11:12 am
As bewitching as it is annoying, this AS Monaco side will remain completely incomprehensible until the end of the championship. In a roller coaster season, the Roca Team has never been able to stabilize, not even in the final. Worse still, this series against ASVEL perfectly embodies Monegasque mood swings: an authoritarian victory to enter the Astro …
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