Too much Motiejunas and Monaco for ALBA

2023-02-01T21:52:57+00:00 2023-02-02T00:00:35+00:00.

Antonis Stroggylakis

01/Feb/23 21:52

Donatas Motiejunas dominated and Monaco made short work of ALBA Berlin.

By Eurohoops Team/

AS Monaco needed an impressive buzzer-beater by Elie Okobo to beat ALBA Berlin at home back in December during the first leg of the EuroLeague regular season.

Things couldn’t have been more different in the second 2022-23 meeting of the two teams that took place in Germany.

Donatas Motiejunas gave the push with a season-high 22 points (on 9-10 shots) and five of his teammates also scored in double figures to lead Monaco to a 102-84 rout over ALBA. This was the second straight 100-point game and win for the Monegasque side, now 14-8.

“We played good defense and did not allow them play the way they wanted to play,” Motiejunas said. “We’re not really used to a lot of running, a lot of shooting threes. They don’t waste a lot of time and get a lot of opportunities, just pushing the ball and trying to score as early as possible.”

Motiejunas came off the bench in the second quarter with the score tied at 32 and scored nine points in three minutes as his team proceeded to take a 51 – 36 lead at halftime. Monaco kept a strong tempo on both ends to turn the game into a blowout and even go up by 28, 97 – 69 down the stretch.

Mike James was everywhere for Monaco with 13 points, seven assists, four rebounds and two steals. Elie Okobo provided 12 points plus six assists, Jordan Loyd had 12 points plus five dimes of his own and Yakuba Ouattara also scored 12. Donta Hall added 10 points and six rebounds.

“We had great focus, especially starting in the second quarter and we controlled it from that point until the end of the game,” Monaco coach Sasa Obradovic said. “All the guys contributed and I am happy about how we played and this kind of win.”

Yanni Wetzell scored a EuroLeague career-high 17 points for ALBA and Gabriele Procida dropped 16 points (also a career-best). The bottom-placed team’s fourth straight loss further sank them to 6-16.

“Congratulations to Monaco,” ALBA coach Israel Gonzalez said. “They played better than us. They especially defended much better than us. They forced us into 20 turnovers. But my main worry is not about the turnovers. That can happen. But it’s about our one-on-one defense. We are not improving how we should be game by game.”