AS Monaco is set to make its Turkish Airlines EuroLeague debut in the 2021-22 season and of course, it will meet some of the competition's giants for the first time. Some dates are marked in red in its calendar - facing the reigning EuroLeague champion and the two winningest teams in the competition, meeting a recent opponent and being part of a rare All-French League showdown.
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ROUND 2: Good memories
It will be special for Monaco to return to Russia and face UNICS Kazan at Basket Hall. Monaco recorded arguably its biggest win ever in that building, downing UNICS 83-86 to lift its first continental trophy: the 2020-21 7DAYS EuroCup. Monaco had previously defeated UNICS 89-87 in Game 1 in the Principality. These teams are facing each other for the first time since the EuroCup Finals. UNICS should be highly motivated, as its four games against Monaco in the last two seasons prevented it from winning a prestigious European trophy.
ROUND 3: Real, 33 years later
Monaco is set to face 10-time EuroLeague champion Real Madrid for the first time since 1988. These teams previously only faced each other in the 1987-88 Korac Cup. Real downed Monaco 117-81 in the Spanish capital behind 27 points from Brad Branson. Things were different at Stade Louis II, where Monaco led 55-43 at halftime. Real rallied to record an 84-87 victory behind 29 points from Wendell Alexis. Philippe Szanyiel led Monaco with 22 points. Real went on to win the Korac Cup in 1988 - and is set to face Monaco 33 years later!
ROUND 7: A new powerhouse
One of the main attractions for any new EuroLeague squad is to face those teams that you cannot possibly go against unless you are in Europe's marquee competition. That should be the case when CSKA Moscow visits Monaco. It is not the only big club that never played against the Principality squad, but has more EuroLeague titles than Panathinaikos OPAP Athens, Olympiacos Piraeus, FC Barcelona, Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul, AX Armani Exchange Milan or Zalgiris Kaunas, just to name some of the teams that have never faced Monaco in the past.
ROUND 11: A clash of winners
For any team, it is always special to face the reigning Turkish Airlines EuroLeague champions and of course, things have changed since Anadolu Efes Istanbul and Monaco faced each other. It was 1987 and both teams were trying to qualify to the Korac Cup group stage. The then-called Efes Pilsen topped Monaco 69-67 in the first leg of a two-game total-points series. Monaco prevailed at home, 59-54, and won the series by an aggregate score of 126-123. This is a very different showdown between the reigning EuroLeague and EuroCup champions!
ROUND 12: Familiar faces
For the first time in the 21st century, two French League teams are set to face each other in the EuroLeague regular season. You have to go back to the 1999-00 EuroLeague campaign to find a matchup between two French teams, ASVEL and Pau-Orthez. There are a lot of links between both teams, but the strongest one comes through Monaco head coach Zvezdan Mitrovic, who led ASVEL from 2018 to 2020. Mitrovic helped ASVEL win the French League and French Cup in the 2019-20 season. Monaco and ASVEL face each other in Europe for the first time since 1975!