The 2021/2022 season officially ended last week, with decisive Game 5 encounters being played in France and Hungary. On Saturday, Asvel won an overtime thriller against Monaco so the last game in European basketball for this season was played on Sunday in the Savaria Arena in Szombathely to decide the Hungarian champion between Falco and Kormend.

Kormend won Games 2 and 3 of the Finals after two big comebacks and in Game 5, Falco started much better again as they were already leading by 22 points in the second quarter. This time the team coached by Milos Konakov didn’t lose concentration at any point and Falco increased its lead to 32 points (75-43) close to the end of the 3rd quarter. Kormend won the last quarter but only by one point, so Falco celebrated another title Hungary, the third in a row (in 2020 the season was not finished).

What’s most interesting about this successful season in Szombathely is that the management of the team decided to build the roster around Hungarian players and opted to sign only 3 foreigners, even if the rules of the league allowed up to 5 foreign players on a team. This is very unusual in European basketball, especially for a team that wants to win the domestic league and also competes in European Cup competitions. Falco had a very successful run in this season’s Basketball Champions League, beating teams like Lietuvos Rytas, AEK Athens, Treviso or VEF Riga and also dominating the Hungarian league from start to finish.

In the decisive game of the final against Kormend, Falco started with 5 Hungarian players (Benke, Goloman, Keller, Somogyi, Varadi), while Perl Zoltan, who is the star player of the team started from the bench (Perl is also a homegrown player). If we look at the top performers, 21-year-old Somogyi Adam was the best scorer in Game 5 with 22 points, followed by Perl and Benke. In total the local players scored 82 points from 99.

This shows that the youth system of Hungarian basketball can create good players and also that coaches have faith in playing them and offering them important roles.

Photo credit: Falco Vulcano

Imre Halasz