Last week in Europe, the major countries in basketball organized Final tournaments in order to award the Cup trophies. There were a lot of surprising results because the Cups have more unexpected losses of the big teams than the regular season.
Who would have believed that Darussafaka with only 4 foreigners and a couple of decent Turkish players will eliminate Anadolu Efes, the best team in the Euroleague this season? This has an explanation: reducing the number of foreigners allowed per team in the domestic competition of Turkey has tied the level of each team. Anadolu Efes, even if they have a lot of foreigners in the roster, had to play only with 5 of them and that’s how the miracle was possible. The battle was balanced and in the end, the team that has more group cohesion won it. Dacka showed this great collective work also later against Galatasaray in the semifinals (the Turkish players scored 56 points of 82) and in the final lost with only 3 points in front of the Euroleague powerhouse Fenerbahce
The same thing happened with Umana Venezia, the number 8th seeded team of Italy that won the entire competition eliminating in the semifinals of the Cup so overrated Armani Milano. Who would have expected that Venezia will resist important minutes of the game with Bruno Cerella, Valerio Mazzola and so on in front of the big names of the opponent team? But the good news is that not the big names are winning games but the larger and homogeneous roster, based on homegrown players.
The Italians of Venezia and the Turkish players of Darussafaka felt that they are the main characters of the games because the club gave them thousand of minutes during the last seasons. That’s why their productivity on the court was bigger compared with the local players of the opponents. This is the true lesson offered by these teams: grow local players to have sustainability and the results will come in time.