Baskonia continues its ascending line in Euroleague

Ivanovic’s men, led by Fontecchio, finish off Monaco thanks to a great third quarter


Bitci Baskonia won their third consecutive victory in the regular phase of the Euroleague this Friday after beating AS Monaco (78-66) thanks to an outstanding third quarter, which was key for the Vitorians to positivize their balance (3-2) and get fully into the fight for the ‘playoff’ positions on the fifth day.

Dusko Ivanovic’s men did not break the scoreboard until the third round, where they achieved a 17-2 run that knocked the Monegasque team down. Simone Fontecchio (20 points and a PIR of 30) was once again the great scoring reference of the Vitoria team, which also featured an excellent version of Jayson Granger (12 and 19), exquisite in the care side with six deliveries.

The night began with the expected equality but without the expected relevance of Mike James, who was returning to what was his home. The American was far from his level at the Buesa Arena – even so he scored 18 points – and did not stick his head out until the final moments, when the game had become extremely difficult for the visitors.

In any case, the advantages of Baskonia were never important and always moved between three and five points. From 12-9 from the beginning to 26-21, but with Monaco relatively close and waiting for an error from the Basques to get a slice in the paint. The balance did not settle for anyone until the third set.

It was then that Baskonia, with a clear improvement in defense, began to increase their numbers in attack led by Fontecchio. The 60-42 beat Zvezdan Mitrovic’s pupils – justified by Giedraitis with a triple – and a steal from Kurucs. Baldwin put together the golden minute for the Vitorians, who still had to go through some trouble in the fourth quarter.

AS Monaco gritted their teeth and Andjusic, with a pair of 3-pointers, cut the lead. A short circuit from Baskonia gave life to his rival, who reached 6 after losing almost 20 units. The 66-60 alerted the Baskonians, who stepped on the accelerator to the bottom not to miss the victory thanks to the final contribution of Nnoko.

Baskonia, which started with two defeats, has turned the situation around and is now 3-2, while Monaco – which started two victories – has gone the other way with its third consecutive defeat, all of them against the Spanish teams of the Euroleague.




BITCI BASKONIA: Granger (12), Giedraitis (10), Fontecchio (20), Costello (-) and Nnoko (14) -initial quintet-; Baldwin (6), Enoch (12), Sedekerskis (2), Marinkovic (-) and Kurucs (2).

AS MONACO: James (18), Westermann (-), Outtara (5), Boutsiele (11) and Motiejunas (10) – starting five -; Lee (2), Thomas (2), Andjusic (15), Gray (-), Diallo (3), Faye (-) and Hall (-).

–PARTIALS: 21-20, 17-15, 22-11, 18-20.

– REFEREES: Boltauzer, Jovcic and Vyklicky. Baldwin was eliminated for personal fouls in Baskonia.

– PAVILION: Fernando Buesa Arena. 7,423 spectators.