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The 2023 Pro A Finals in France began with a whimper on Saturday as the series’ biggest star, Mets 92 big man and presumptive No. 1 pick Victor Wembanyama, battled through a rough patch in the opening game in a blowout loss to top-seeded Monaco. Wembanyama’s Mets 92 club fell 87-64 in Game 1 as Wembanyama failed for the first time in more than two months to reach double figures in scoring.

As is frequently the case, Wembanyama did the majority of his damage on defense, where he acted as a shot-swatter and deterrent around the basket. He finished the game with just eight points on 3-of-8 shooting while adding seven boards, a pair of assists and one block — albeit multiple almost blocks and plenty of defended rims — in the loss.

Mets 92 entered the series as the underdog to league-leading Monaco, which secured the top seed in the postseason in part by sweeping the Mets during the regular season, and it acquitted itself well as the top dog in the Pro A. 

Despite a sluggish start from Wemby and the Mets, it was relatively close early before Monaco blitzed them in the second quarter on a 29-6 gash, setting the stage for the rout.

The last (and only time this season) Wembanyama — who will very likely be picked first by the Spurs later this month in the 2023 NBA Draft — was held to single digits in scoring was when Mets 92 faced Monaco in early April and limited him, like Saturday, to eight points. The best-of-five series is far from over, though, and it continues Monday at 2:30 p.m. ET.

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