Chris Jones powers up to lift Valencia over Monaco

2023-10-06T22:38:29+00:00 2023-10-07T00:27:47+00:00.

Giannis Askounis

06/Oct/23 22:38

A low-scoring and physical affair favors Valencia in a narrow win opposite AS Monaco

By Eurohoops Team/

Navigating a close game with neither side enjoying more than a three-possession lead, Valencia edged out AS Monaco on Thursday.

The Oranges prevailed, 70-65, in Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Regular Season Round 1 action.


Chris Jones put in nine of his 14 points in the fourth quarter, including the go-ahead three-pointer with 1:02 on the clock.

“My teammates believe in me,” the Texas native commented on the key three-pointer against the defense of Mike James, “I don’t really see faces. Just playing basketball. I believe in myself. My teammates believe in me. Just another moment in the game that I was ready for. I am glad I made the shot.”

Carrying the offense with 17 points over three quarters, Semi Ojeleye ended up with 19 points. Settling the 13th lead change as the last of the contest, the 28-year-old defensive specialist blocked Alpha Diallo in a three-point effort to seal the deal.

“We got a special group of guys. We all love each other. I think the fans are passionate about the game. We want to go out there and give our heart,” the Nigerian-American forward thanked the La Fonteta crowd.

Ojeleye and Jones shared a team-high three triples, fueling the solid team effort of 11/26 shots from beyond the arc. Controlling the boards with a 38-29 edge in rebounds was another significant advantage.

Martin Hermannsson (left knee surgery) and Xabi Lopez-Arostegui (left foot) were both sidelined for the team coached by Alex Mumbru.

Forced down to 0-1 to start the new season, after reaching the 2023 Final Four, Monaco saw a huge effort from James falling short. The Natural ended up with 21 points to go with seven rebounds, seven assists, and three steals, without committing a turnover.

“Allowing so many offensive rebounds and attached points, it is impossible to win,” Sasa Obradovic referred to the 14 offensive rebounds and 15 second-chance points for Valencia.

Elie Okobo had 17 points in the losing effort.

Injury woes for Monaco

Mouhammadou Jaiteh (hamstring) made the trip to Spain but did not play. The 28-year-old center is expected to debut with his new team against Basketball Champions League outfit Cholet in Betclic Elite action on Sunday. In contrast, both Jordan Loyd (lower back surgery) and Kemba Walker will stay on the injury list.

Looking to go up to 6-0 in defending the French league championship, La Roca Team will move from Cholet to the second round of EuroLeague and a home game versus Virtus Segafredo Bologna next Friday.

Valencia hopes to improve to 3-1 in Spain’s Liga Endesa against Monbus Obradoiro on Sunday, before yet another home game with Fenerbahce Beko visiting next Friday.

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