Monaco and Paris win the first round of the semi-finals

Monaco and Paris win the first round of the semi-finals
Monaco and Paris win the first round of the semi-finals

The reigning champion Monaco and its runner-up of the regular season Paris enforced the hierarchy at home against Bourg-en-Bresse (85-72) and Asvel (94-81) to lead a victory to zero in the semi-finals of Elite basketball. They will try to make the break on Saturday, still at home, to get closer to qualifying for the final.

The Monegasques experienced more difficulties. Still deprived of its offensive leaders Mike James and defensive John Brown, injured, the Principality team had to wait until the last quarter to distance the “Game” in a match that had been closed for a long time and marked by numerous inaccuracies (33 lost balls ).

Although he lost his injured pivot Donatas Motiejunas during the match, Bourg ended up finding himself very helpless inside after the injury of Kévin Kokila (27th) and the fifth foul by Bodian Massa, ten minutes later.

It arrived on a 3-point shot attempt from Elie Okobo, and the referees’ whistle angered Bressan coach Frédéric Fauthoux, who collected two technical fouls in quick succession, synonymous with exclusion.

Okobo returned three of his four free throws, knocking out Bourg-en-Bresse for the first time, who definitively surrendered on a winning shot from Matthew Strazel one minute from the buzzer (79-69).

Asvel, waking up late

Strazel (14 pts) and Okobo (20 pts at 83% shooting including 2/2 long distance) made up for the absence of James, the second delivering a recital in the second half.

On the Bressan side, Zaccharie Risacher, author of a double double (12 pts, 11 rebounds), has confirmed his good form since the start of the play-offs and one month before the NBA draft, of which he is announced among the first choices.

Paris Basketball, for its first semi-final (of its first play-offs), on the contrary had a thunderous start to the match, leading 33 to 11 at the end of the first quarter. Thanks to a collective game found compared to the quarter-final support match against Cholet on Tuesday (74-62) and a crazy long-distance success (6/9), in particular from Collin Malcolm (13 pts to 2/2, 18 in the end).

READ ALSO. “I have no qualms, I gave everything”: Laurent Vila closes the Cholet Basket page

The gap even rose to +27 (38-11) at the start of the second quarter, before the direct exclusion of his pivot Moustapha Fall (25th), for a blow to the lower abdomen of Enzo Sharvin at the following a furious dunk, did not wake up the Villeurbannais. Finally aggressive, led by Joffrey Lauvergne (12 pts) and Timothé Luwawu-Cabarrot (22), they came back to six lengths in the middle of the third quarter (57-51) but probably paid for the energy deployed against the partners of TJ Shorts (14 pts).

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