MONACO (Basketball Champions League) - AS Monaco stayed perfect at home, collecting a 95-87 triumph over AEK Athens to reach the Quarter-Finals. The Group A winners win the tie 163-155 on aggregate.
Zvezdan Mitrovic's players came storming out of the blocks, putting up 30 points in the first quarter to erase their one-point deficit from the first leg. AEK had a brief, 19-second long lead, and tied the game on four occasions, but AS Monaco were in control for most of the game.
"We fed off of the crowd energy. It was unbelievable, when I saw our fans show up, I wanted to get my team off to a good start. I said to the rest of the guys, don't think of it as a one-point game for us, just play our style of basketball, and it worked out", Shuler said.
"This is huge for us. This is our first time playing in a European competition, and any step we take forward is being historical", he added.
Dee Bost and Amara Sy combined for 30 points off the bench, Sergii Gladyr gladly took what was given to him with six of his 11 points coming from the free throw line.
AEK got a massive 18-point, 12-rebound double-double from Loukas Mavrokefalidis, and Kostas Vasileiadis went 3-of-3 from beyond the arc for his 15 points. But the overall shooting percentage of 40% was not enough for them to hand Monaco their first home defeat of the season.
AS Monaco now await the draw on Friday. They will be the one to avoid for the rest of the Quarter-Finalists, as they finished the Group Phase on a 12-2 record and are now 8-0 at home in the competition.