"It's 50-50"

This Wednesday, ASVEL and Monaco face each other in Match 1 of the Betclic Elite final. Monegasque rear Yakuba Ouattara (7.7pts, 4.1rbds in 24min in the play-offs) estimated at a press conference that there was no favorite.

Yakuba Ouattara, thewill the hot weather expected this week have a role to play, as in the 2019 final?
I know some of my teammates aren’t sure what to expect. Already, during the first match in Pau, it was very hot, and I told them that compared to what it can be at the Astroballe, it’s nothing at all. It will be a decisive factor, we will have to manage to adapt. Wednesday and Friday, we announce 37°c in Lyon…

ASVEL-Monaco, is it the best poster that the Betclic Elite could offer in the final?
These are the two headliners of the French championship, the two Euroleague teams. There is a big rivalry between the two teams and we have always had good battles.

Who is the favourite?
It’s 50-50, there really isn’t a favorite. ASVEL have the advantage of the field, so they leave with a big advantage, but in the final anything can happen. It’s the team that will want it the most and will do the most to win this final.

You had fewer days than ASVEL between your semi-final and the final, is that a disadvantage?
Yes and no. Yes, because we have to make adjustments in less time than ASVEL was able to do it, and no because we keep the rhythm of the match a little more.

You seem to have turned a corner lately, personally…
Clearly. I know that I have my role in the team, I know what I have to do on the pitch, defend, score points. I try to have an impact on the field with or without the stats.

Opposite, Elie Okobo and Chris Jones are in great shape too…
It is sure that these are the main assets of ASVEL, it will not be an easy task because at the moment they are hot. We will necessarily have to slow them down if we want to win.

This is already your third championship final with Monaco, after those lost in 2018 and 2019 against Le Mans then Monaco…
I hadn’t played the first, the second is very frustrating because we really came very close. Winning this first title of champion of France is a goal that I have had since I arrived at the club. I really hope it will be a good year.

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