19 September, 2017
06 May, 2018
23 Christopher Evans (FRA)
Game Report
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AS Monaco one game from perfect Regular Season after Murcia victory

MONACO (Basketball Champions League) - AS Monaco moved a step closer to going the entire Regular Season undefeated with a 83-73 win over UCAM Murcia on Wednesday evening.

Monaco are now 13-0 on the season, having pulled away in the third quarter behind the play of Elmedin Kikanovic who had 8 of his team-high 20 points in a little-over-three minute stretch to open the period. 

Kikanovic went 9-for-10 from the floor to lead the victors, ably backed up by 19 points from Christopher Evans, 12 from Gerald Robinson and 10-a-piece from Sergii Gladyr and Paul Lacombe, as everyone aimed to step up to make up for missing captain Amara Sy, who has been confirmed out for three months with injury.

"It's a tough loss," Monaco big man Georgi Joseph said of Sy.

"Amara is the Admiral, the captain, he's been here for a while, we all know him, he's a really, really, big part of the team, whether it's offence of defence. Losing him hurt us a lot, but we know we're a team and we know we're all going to step up and fill in the blank that he's leaving right now until he comes back."

Of their undefeated record, Joseph added:

"We're not thinking about the record. We're taking it game by game and trying to improve our game. Not every game is going to be easy, were not going to be eat every team by 20, by 30. The teams, they scout us too, they know our strengths and weaknesses, so we have to keep on playing the right way, so we can prepare for the Play-Offs."

Murcia were led by a game-high 22 from Vitor Benite, with Charlon Kloof adding 13 and Alex Urtasan 11. But ultimately, the absence of Ovie Soko, Brad Oleson and Marko Lukovic, was too much to overcome for the Spanish side.

"Like always, we competed," Benite said. "They're a tough team and we're missing good players, but there's no excuses. Our team, it's always about playing hard.

"I think in the first half we had some not usual mistakes, losing balls, so we give them some easy shots. I think we competed to the end, I think in some moments we could have been tougher, because the refs were not calling a lot of fouls, we have to be tougher because of that, but it was a good match."

It was the first back-to-back road defeats for UCAM Murcia on the season, as they fell to 7-6 in fourth place in Group A.

Gladyr back-to-back threes allowed Monaco to regain the lead after an early deficit, 10-9, with 2 minutes to play in the first, igniting a 12-2 run, as they led 16-13 over Murcia after the opening period. 

The game was back and forth midway through second period, before a 9-2 run to finish the quarter from Monaco, punctuated by Christopher Evans lay up in the final 20 seconds gave the home team a 41-35 halftime lead.

Monaco began to find their rhythm in the third behind the play of Kikanovic. They opened the period on a 13-2 run, with 8 points from Kikanovic and opened up a cushion they would not give up the rest of the way.

Back to back finishes from Robinson in the final minute of period gave the home side a 15 point lead, 65-50 heading into the fourth, and from there it was plain sailing, as they rebutted any run attempt from Murcia.