After mixed European weeks, where his team lost four consecutive times away, coach Sasa Obradovic can be satisfied: Monaco reversed the situation on Wednesday in Berlin (102-84).
The controlled victory of the "Roca Team" also corresponds to the return to form of its + shooter +, Jordan Loyd.
At 29, the 2019 NBA champion with the Toronto Raptors, then Russian champion last season with Zenith Saint-Petersburg, is a centerpiece on the Rock.
But after a very good start to the season, a shock with the strong French winger of Real Madrid Guerschon Yabusele cut his momentum.
Consequence: a cranio-facial trauma with a broken nose which required an operation, before a new shoulder injury, against Milan, upon his return to competition.
However, the Atlanta native, under contract until June 2024 with an optional additional season, has resources.
Above all, he is a basic man for Obradovic, who trained him at Red Star Belgrade.
"Connection" with Obradovic
"I played under + coach Sasa +, we kept a very good connection," said the American to AFP.
"It was very important when I signed in the Principality, he explains. I like having an important role, with a good impact on the game of the team, I have it here. We know what 'we want at the level of the objectives, we can achieve it.
Winners in the first leg in Madrid, coming back from very far thanks to a four-point action from leader Mike James (95-94, ap), the Monegasques are preparing for a hot reunion against a vengeful White House.
Star James risks being muzzled by the best Euroleague defense.
The French leader Elie Okobo and Jordan Loyd will then have to know how to respond.
"Mike is our leader, it's been an agreed thing since the start of the season," Loyd said.
"But, even if we are going to make things as simple as possible for him, we will do everything to win collectively", assures the Monegasque.
This was done, and done well, in Berlin on Wednesday.
Author of 12 points and 5 assists in 22 minutes, Loyd, for whom it was the fifth game since his return from injury, confirmed his rise to power.
"We responded defensively with a desire to focus on our communication", he retained after the victory, before projecting himself towards the reception of the co-leader of Euroleague: "We have talent everywhere, We share the ball well. This important victory prepares Real Madrid in the best way."
A victory could propel Monaco (14 wins, eight losses) to the top of the standings at the end of this 23rd day.
It would thus allow the ASM to seriously consider qualification, the minimum objective set at the start of the season.
But Loyd is aiming for the Final Four and even more: "I have the feeling that I can help the club, which is in a good direction, to develop."
"I want to be part of it for the coming seasons, he underlines. A few of us have a contract that covers next season. It's rather long term in basketball."
© 2023 AFP