Gerald Robinson named MVP of Quarter-Finals
MONACO (Basketball Champions League) - Several minutes into the second leg of the Basketball Champions League Quarter-Final between AS Monaco and Banvit, it appeared the Principality club might cruise into a second straight Final Four as Gerald Robinson had the shooting explosions of all shooting explosions.
The 1.90 (6ft 3in) guard scored his team's first 10 points with two shots coming from long range.
When he buried one from deep with 3:14 remaining in the opening frame - his fifth consecutive 3-pointer - Monaco led 23-13 for an aggregate advantage of 18.
“THE BASKET WAS AS BIG AS THE OCEAN. I WAS JUST TAKING WHAT THE DEFENSE WAS GIVING ME, OPEN SHOTS …” Robinson
Things are never going to be as easy as they seem in the Basketball Champions League, however, and especially when a team like Banvit is involved.Monaco, despite going up by 15 in the game and 23 on aggregate, ended up having to hold on for dear life as the Turkish club threatened to pull off the mother of all comebacks.
While Banvit not only took the lead in the second leg but did so by seven to close the aggregate deficit to just a single point, Robinson provided more offense to help steady the ship.
He hit his sixth 3 and scored 9 points in the fourth quarter to end up with a game-high 30 as Monaco, despite losing the game, 75-74, advanced with a 7-point win over the 80 minutes.
"We expected that (comeback) from a good team, a well coached team," Robinson said. "We just had to stay focused. Basketball is a game of runs. It's a good thing we had the (first-leg) advantage."
Robinson's heroics in the two games - he had 18 points in first leg at Banvit - have netted him the honor as the MVP of the Quarter-Finals.
"IT FEELS GREAT (TO REACH THE FINAL FOUR). FOR US ALL TOGETHER, FROM THE BEGINNING OF TRAINING CAMP, IT'S BEEN ONE OF OUR GOALS. IT'S ALWAYS GOOD TO ACHIEVE THINGS THAT YOU'VE WORKED HARD FOR." Robinson
As for the beginning of the contest when he could do no wrong, Robinson said: "At the start of the game I was really hot. The basket was as big as the ocean. I was just taking what the defense was giving me, open shots ..."
Robinson, who went to Martin Luther King High School in Nashville, Tennessee, before playing college basketball at Tennessee State and then Georgia, has had pro stops in Israel, Latvia, France, Iran, Germany and now the Principality of Monaco. He surpassed the 25 points he scored at the end of the Regular Season against Pinar Karsiyaka.
The individual accolade, truth be told, is just a sweetener for Robinson. What he cared most about what getting to the Final Four. That was obvious when he celebrated with his teammates.
"It feels great," he said. "For us all together, from the beginning of training camp, it's been one of our goals. It's always good to achieve things that you've worked hard for."