Despite an exceptional Mike James (24 points), Monaco suffered its first defeat of the season in the Euroleague on Wednesday for the third day at Real Madrid (94-86), paying in particular a catastrophic start to the match.
There was no new turnaround, like Villeurbanne against Efes Istanbul the day before (75-73): on the floor of Real Madrid, club with the most titles in the competition (10 coronations), the Monegasques once believed they could make the hold-up, when they came back to the level of the Madrilenians a few minutes from the end after being led by 21 points during the first quarter.
But the extraordinary performance of Mike James was not enough for the Monegasques, winners of the first two games in their history in the competition against Panathinaikos (75-63) and Kazan (80-88 AD). Stratospheric, the small American back, arrived in Monaco this summer after a passage to the Brooklyn Nets in the NBA, chained the three difficult points, against time and at very long distance … and everything smiled on him. Even that risky but spectacular lob pass to find Donta Hall in the third quarter.
Yabusele hurts Monaco
And as he multiplied his personal exploits, Mike James generated with him the whole Roca Team, returned to the level of the Madrilenians in the last act, five minutes from time, thanks to a three points from Will Thomas. “We started the match with a little pressure, stress. We really started in a catastrophic way. We can play badly, but at this point, it is not possible. It was enough to wake up”, summarized the Monegasque technician Zvezdan Mitrovic at the final whistle.
Opposite, Real was able to count on one of its four French musketeers to achieve a perfect start to the match. Summer rookie Guerschon Yabusele already had 10 points at the end of the first quarter and hurt Zvezdan Mitrovic’s men badly, suffering fouls under the hoop while posing the threat to three points. The former Asvel player also finished top scorer in Madrid (18 pts), just ahead of his French compatriot Fabien Causeur (13 pts). Monaco will have the opportunity to relaunch Friday with the reception of another team in the Spanish league, FC Barcelona.