By Antonis Stroggylakis/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Monaco guard Paul Lacombe had been one of the main factors responsible for the squad displaying one seriously ironclad defense this season in the Basketball Champions League.
The French team traveled to Athens for the Final Four priding on allowing just 68.4 points per game, a key reason behind their phenomenal 16 – 2 record. This was the Monegasque’s primary weapon also in the semifinal against MHP Riesen where they forced their opponents to merely 27 points in the second half to ultimately win 86 – 65.
But the strong defensive principals that Monaco built its game on throughout the season were shattered in the greatest battle. AEK dropped no less than 100 points to defeat the Monegasques in the Final and win the title.
“100 points. That’s too much. We are, maybe were, the best defensive team in the competition. But it was too difficult against AEK at home. We had to keep them around 70, 80 maximum. We didn’t do it. They played really smart,” Lacombe told Eurohoops.
It’s tough because I think we deserved more than that. Not tonight, for sure. But in the competition, we deserved more,” the French guard added. “It was the most important game. We are frustrated and sad.”
Of course, the overall season is not over for Lacombe and his teammates. Monaco is currently the standings leader in the French Pro A League and wants to translate this regular season dominance with a championship title.
“We have a really good team. We must be focused and concentrated and go in the right direction to win this title. I’m sure we can do it. No more excuses.”