Despite having a season to forget in the Legabasket where they didn’t reach the playoff, Virtus Bologna managed to upset all doubters by winning the Basketball Champions League trophy in Antwerp, Belgium. In the final, they beat experienced Tenerife 73-61, after an astonishing defensive display.
This year, two Italian teams won a European Cup: Virtus Bologna and Dinamo Sassari, which was crowned FIBA Europe Cup champion. That’s all that matters for their supporters. On the other hand, we have some teams that left the Italian fans disappointed. In Euroleague, Armani Milano, despite their huge budget did not manage to clinch the Euroleague playoffs, as many fans expected. As well in 7DAYS EuroCup, all three Italian teams participating Brescia Leonessa, Dolomiti Trento and Fiat Torino were sent home after the groups’ stage, finishing with very bad records. For example, Torino finished their group with a record 0-10, because even Mornar Bar got both wins against them.
All these things made Virtus Bologna`s chairman Massimo Zanetti take the decision to continue in BCL, trying to defend their title. He said: “With a 5.000 seats arena, BCL is our dimension. If we want to enter in EuroLeague, we need an 8.000-10.000 seats arena that would allow us to increase ticketing and sponsors. Also to build a good team for EuroLeague is very expensive.”
This decision is a very good one for Virtus Bologna. For now, Basketball Champions League is the best European competition for them. If they will be able to build a competitive roster during the summer under the leadership of the reputed coach Sasha Djordjevic, then they will have a good chance to defend their title.
But, above all, next season the reigning champions of BasketballCL will focus more on Seria A. The Italian powerhouse aim to perform much better than this year and reach the long-awaited final of Legabasket. Their last success in Seria A was in the season 2000-2001. Maybe next year will end this long drought. Good luck to them.
Photo credit: championsleague.basketball
Bogdan Vasile Tirc, firstname.lastname@example.org