The apotheosis. The decisive match 5 of the final of this 2021-2022 season, between Asvel and Monaco, kept its immense promises. The two ogres of the Championship delivered a masterpiece of encounter on Saturday evening, the stakes of which were magnified by actions of immense class, which came to feed a scenario of madness.
Who, after seven minutes of play, could well have suspected that Asvel, who were playing at home in the Astroballe, were going to be pushed to their limits, brushing against defeat for a few tenths of a second, to finally achieve the hat-trick – that we had not seen since 1990 and Limoges – after a breathless extension? Because at the end of the first quarter, the Roca Team still displayed its most frustrating face, that of a team with strong individualities incapable of becoming a collective. Like its brilliant leader, Mike James, silent in the first quarter (0 points), and even at the break (2 points). After seven minutes of play therefore, Asvel led by 17 points (24-7, 7th) and unrolled this basketball which had allowed him to crush matches 2 and 4 of this series.
James made Asvel doubt
At the break, the Villeurbannais led by ten points (43-33, 20th), but still knew they were at the mercy of an opponent who had so far avoided sinking thanks to his aggressiveness rewarded with numerous free throws (13 out of 18 ). When they returned from the locker room, the tone changed frankly, in favor of Sasa Obradovic’s men. Jerry Boutsiele’s efficiency in the interior sector (9 points) brought the Principality club to one possession at the end of the third quarter (54-53, 30th), to make way for an anthology final.
On two three-point banderillas, his only two exploits of the evening, Mike James plunged the Lyon steamer into doubt (55-59, 32nd). Hands up, the American leader (16 points, 5 out of 21 in the end) embodied the renewal of his people while his compatriot Dwayne Bacon took over (14 points). On the ropes, led by 8 points on the edge of money-time (60-68, 35th), Asvel relied on William Howard to pass a 7-0 which revived everything.
Okobo, the trembling hand
The high class actions – like a laser pass distilled by Paris Lee (67-70, 38th) – were linked. At 74-71 then 75-73 in their favor, and only a handful of seconds separating them from the first title in their history, AS Monaco missed out. With a perfectly felt penetration, Elie Okobo (20 points, 7 rebounds, 9 assists) equalized and even obtained a bonus free throw, with 1”8 to play. Definitely the winning shot, which the playmaker let go a little too quickly, sending the two teams, exhausted, into overtime. History to extend, with happiness, this last high mass of the season, with panache.
The additional period certainly saw more misses than successful baskets. However, she was faithful to the course of the game and played with the nerves of the spectators. The Rhodaniens let slip a lead of 5 points (80-75, 43rd) but ended up causing the fifth fault of James, who attended from the bench of his people the success of the locals, saved by Howard, author of a counter capital on Lee . Hand still shaking, Okobo failed to get his team to safety at the penalty line. Anecdotal since the Lyonnais prevailed on a ball lost by the Monegasques, sending the Astroballe to the firmament.
“We played with the heart, thoroughly, we gave everything for the title. Monaco are an incredible team. What series. »
For Monaco, whose too visible inconstancy Léo Westermann regretted in this final, the train passes but does not seem ready to take on the Roca Team since it fails for the third time in match 5 in the final since 2018 – against Le Mans – ( with 2019 against Asvel already and 2022 therefore).
“OWe played with the heart, thoroughly, we gave everything for the title, told Okobo at the microphone of beIN Sport at the final whistle. . Monaco are an incredible team. What series… »
Three in a row, a rarity
Its president, Tony Parker, then fell into his arms to thank him for having kept his promise. ” He told me he would bring me a title, it’s doneexclaimed the former San Antonio Spurs player. This final is great for French basketball. A dream final, a match of madness. “His club thus achieved the treble, which had so far only been done three times in the history of the Championship (Asvel between 1955 and 1957, Limoges between 1983-1985 and 1988-1990). ” It’s hard to mark the history of sport, we mark the history of French basketball tonight concluded Parker. An observation that will also have to be applied to this breathtaking game 5 alone.