Basketball / Elite: Monaco titled champion of France for the first time, against the Mets of Victor Wembanyama

The Principality finally crowned! Monaco was crowned French basketball champion for the first time thanks to the third setback (92-85) inflicted on Boulogne-Levallois, Victor Wembanyama’s team, in their series of finals Thursday at Roland-Garros.

After three failures on the last step since its return to the Elite eight years ago, the Roca Team finally won the national title, the epilogue of a historic season marked by its third place in the Euroleague.

Before pursuing his American dream, “Wemby” will therefore not achieve his last in France: a coronation with his Metropolitans 92. For his last 35 and a half minutes on a floor of the French Championship, the giant will leave the memory of a performance from the height of his 2.24 meters: 22 points, 7 rebounds and 4 blocks for an evaluation of 30. Quite simply his best play-offs before flying to the NBA and more than certainly San Antonio, who inherited of the first draft pick next Thursday.

Tied (85-85) 108 seconds from the buzzer, the meeting changed thanks to two shots – including one from ten meters – from the American rear of ASM Jordan Loyd (22 pts in total), who also benefited from a pitch. When on the Metropolitans side, their soloist Barry Brown, a medical freelancer recruited for the final phase, saw his two forced attempts bounce off the hoop.

The flattened competition

Facing the third best team on the continent, it took nearly 91% success (10/11) at the time of the maximum gap, in the first quarter (32-16), for Vincent Collet’s men to hoist for a time above the Monegasque armada, yet not helped by its star Mike James in the middle of a shipwreck on Thursday (2 pts, 1/7).

This Roca Team 2023 is placed in the elite of the history of the French Championship. His podium in the queen of European competitions, the only one from a representative of the non-titled Limoges Championship in 1993, sketched out a grandiose team.

Their run in the play-offs, completed Thursday at Roland-Garros by a grand slam, without the slightest defeat (8-0), is unheard of for 35 years and Limoges in the 1988 final phase, then disputed in round-trip matches.

The Rock flattened the competition in these play-offs as it rolled over them during the regular season with a first place secured from the 29th of 34 days. All while leading an exhausting European campaign.

ASM exorcised its curse of lost finals, that of 2018 conquered by Le Mans, then of 2019 and 2022 delighted by Asvel. Not to mention, well before the new era launched by Ukrainian businessman Sergey Dyadechko in 2013, the 1950 final won by Villeurbanne.

The only downside to the Monegasque season, the Leaders Cup this winter, when they were surprised by Bourg-en-Bresse in the quarter-finals (102-92). Otherwise, they also delighted the Coupe de France by crushing Asvel (90-70).

So many fruits of the dazzling growth of the Roca Team, pushed by its owner who made his fortune in fertilizers and cereals: the naturalized Hungarian Russian Aleksei Fedorychev, CEO and founder of Fedcominvest.

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