Thanks to Mike James, with 25 points, Monaco beat Kazan and stayed in the qualifying race

As usual this season in the Euroleague, Monaco played to intimidate each other. But this time, in a late match of the 20th day, the Principality Club was revived. Thanks to their victory (79-76) at home to Russian club Unix Kazan, direct contenders to qualify for the top eight places in the competition on Tuesday 22 February, Monaco returned to the standings.

With 13 wins and 13 losses, Sasa Obradovic’s men temporarily climbed to eighth in the standings in terms of the number of wins and stay in the race to qualify for the playoffs at the end of the regular season. For this, FC Monaco will play a decisive match against Fenerbahce Istanbul, on Friday 25 February, at Gaston Medicine Hall.

After a 15-point lead over Kazan (68-53, 34th place), ‘Team Roca’ nonetheless came close to disaster, against Kaunas, during the previous day (defeat 83-82). Kazan is already back to 76-76 with 30 seconds left. At that time, Mike James, the author of a very good game (25 points, 7 assists) drew one of his three-point baskets whose secret he knows, and offered the victory to his people.

After warning and attacking in the first quarter (22-19), where Donta Hall had a field day with two strong Dunkers at the end of the period, the end of the first period was even more difficult. If Kazan returns (22-22, 14), Monaco, like the Electric Hall, kept their racket, despite the absence of Dwayne Bacon, who has the flu.

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Under the defense of Mike James and despite the strong opposite Mario Hizonga (20 points), Monaco gradually expanded the difference until the end of the first half (44-36).

However, even leading by 13 points (53-40, 26), Kazan did not give up. The more skilled Russians knocked their opponent down 15-8 to move back to -6 (61-55) before the final quarter. So the scenario of the last period was incredible. But despite Kazan’s comeback and American title OJ Mayo (15 points), James and Monaco got away with it and can still dream.


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