Lega Basket Serie A – Back to its old glory days?

The Italian Serie A was considered the strongest domestic league in European basketball for over three decades, however in the last 15 years, it lost ground to the Spanish ACB, the Turkish league or VTB, mostly because of economic reasons. Historical teams like Montepaschi Siena, Benetton Treviso, Fortitudo Bologna or Virtus Roma were relegated or disappeared, the only team to keep pace with the European powerhouses being Olimpia Milan.

The favorite to win the league this year, just like in previous seasons is Armani Exchange Olimpia Milan. They have the biggest budget, an experienced, high-level roster and they brought back home the best Italian coach, Ettore Messina. They also brought in a lot of new players and time might be needed for the team to reach it’s potential, but it would be a big surprise if they would not win the title.

Another team that aims high this season is Virtus Segafredo Bologna. The team that dominated Europe in the early 2000’s under the name Kinder Bologna ( and coached by Ettore Messina ) had some tough years, but they found their way back to winning ways. Serbian coach Sasha Djordjevic was hired in March and the team managed to win Basketball Champions League. However, they had a disappointing season in the Italian league, but this is likely to change. Virtus has a huge budget and made headlines in the summer by signing one of the biggest names in Europe, Milos Teodosic.

Other teams that are worth watching in the coming season are the reigning champions Reyer Venezia, Germani Brescia, last season’s runner-up and Fiba Europe Cup winners Dinamo Sassari or even Reggio Emilia. Also, we are happy to see Virtus Roma, Fortitudo Bologna and Treviso back in the first division. The return of these teams to Serie A and the Milano-Virtus Bologna rivalry definitely makes the Italian league exciting again.

Photo: www.virtus.it

Imre Halasz