Asvel Lyon. The best two teams from Jeep Elite Pro A will meet in a wanted and long-awaited Best of 5 Final, starting on 15/06 with the first two games at Lyon`s Astroballe Arena. This match will put face to face the teams with the best records in the regular season, 27-7 for Lyon and 24-10 for Monaco.
Since 2014, when French NBA legend Tony Parker became the President of the club, Lyon`s history is on an upswing, winning the French league title in the 2015-2016 season, the French Cup in the same season and the Supercup in 2016. Since 2017, another star from NBA, Nicolas Batum took the decision to join Tony and became club`s director of basketball operations. Everything culminated with Euroleague wild-card for 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 seasons. A success in this Final will be more than welcomed for Lyon`s board and fans.
In order to reach Jeep Elite finals, Asvel Lyon passed Le Mans 2-0 in the Quarter-Finals and 4th seed Nanterre 3-0 after a tremendous display in all three games. Lyon destroyed Nanterre in game 3, 99-56, winning all four quarters. Lyon leads in all important stats column, 35-17 in rebounds, 22-12 in assists and shot 61.8% from the field. The main contributors were AJ Slaughter (20 points and 3 assists), Livio Jean-Charles (19 points and 4 assists) and Adreian Payne (15 points and 5 rebounds), for the guests and for the home team worth to be mentioned is only Jeremy Senglin with 18 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists.
For AS Monaco, since their promotion in 2015, everything was very good for them. Regardless this season, all three previous regular seasons were won by Monaco, but in the play-offs, they only reached the final once, in the last season when they were beaten by Le Mans in game 5 in front of their fans. Monaco wanted to revenge that loss and kept their core of players in order to have good chemistry for this season.
In the Quarter-Finals they passed Limoges 2-0, winning both games at the 20+ difference. In the Semi-Finals, they met 3rd place Dijon and despite some close encounters, Monaco managed to pass them with 3-0. In Game 1, they won in overtime 82-77, after Dijon made a nice comeback, tying the game, despite losing 17-4 first quarter. In Game 3, at Dijon, the home team leads 43-34 at halftime, but in the end, Monaco won the game 81-78. The main contributors for Dijon were David Holston (17 points and 5 assists) and Terence Kinsey (14 points, 4 rebounds and 2 steals). For Monaco, 5 players scored in double-digits with at least 13 points each. Yakuba Ouattara (15 points and 6 rebounds) and Elmedin Kikanovic (15 points with 6-7 field goals made) were the main performers.
It will be a nice duel between the best two squads in France Basketball. Both teams have good starting five and also a nice bench that can contribute and allow their coaches to have a good rotation, giving the best players many minutes to rest, in order to deliver their best performances. I expect some close games, but in the end, I think ASVEL Lyon-Villeurbanne will be crowned as champions because they will show a Euroleague`s level of play and all the players will give everything to remain in the team and compete in the strongest European competition.
Bogdan Vasile Tirc