If, as is now very probable, Juventus basketball Bologna will win its sixteenth championship twenty years after the last one (when the “conductor” was Ettore Messina today on the enemy bench in Milan, the great favorite of the championship who in final so far has been slapped), it can be said that one of his great fans is right: Stefano Bonaga. The philosopher, former husband of Alba Parietti, he has always cultivated and followed the following maxim: «For me Virtus is the eternal return of being. In contrast to Fortitudo, which can be considered becoming. Virtus always comes back ». Yes, Virtus always comes back – and its fans know this too, as well as those of the rival parish, that is the fortitudes, never stop supporting their team – and this happens even if, in between, there are dark years or dissonant.
Closing a cycle
The 2021 championship for the Segafredo (noble and ambitious sponsor, because Massimo Zanetti when he decided to grant the match in 2016 explained that the goal was to win and as soon as possible, with zero alternative options) would in fact be the closing of a cycle in which the difficult moments were probably higher than the happy ones. So this journey is somewhat reminiscent of that of Ulysses who finds his Ithaca again. 2001 was a magical year, even higher than that unforgettable 1998, the season of the first continental title and the famous final against Fortitudo, marked by the three-point basket (with a foul immediately and additional free throw) by Sasha Danilovic who led to the supplementary, then regulated by the black – Vs. But that vintage at the dawn of the third millennium combined a technical firepower and the desire to explore new forces. Their names? Manu Ginobili, who would become an ace in San Antonio in the NBA, Marko Jaric – torn right from Fortitudo -, Matjaž Smodiš. And in addition there was the return horse, Danilovic, disappointed by the experience among professionals. That was the team that after a complicated start – also due to the doping disqualification that stopped Hugo Sconochini – found a perfect balance between veterans and young people. 33 consecutive useful results arrived, a terrible setback to Effe in the Christmas derby (99-62, a humiliating difference) and the hat-trick European championship-title (in the year the Euroleague was founded) -Coppa Italia.
But that triumphal moment was destined to have other sequels and not exactly auspicious. Marco Madrigali, the president of those successes, he also became the man under whose jurisdiction Virtus actually disappeared. And this is because of the problems of his company. In 2002 there were the last acute points – Euroleague final lost in Bologna against Panathinaikos, victory in the Italian Cup – but the signs of the crisis were already evident: Messina was even sacked after a defeat in Pesaro and then put back in the saddle with furor. of people. But in the following season he moved to Treviso, while Bologna knew, at the end of the 2003 season, the fourteenth place and above all the shame of non-registration. The Fip decreed its exclusion and radiation. It was Claudio Sabatini, mister Futurshow and new owner, to save it from disappearance with a trick: he bought the rights of Progresso Castelmaggiore and the Legadue was the cradle of the restart (and of the maintenance of past history and titles). After the return to Serie A (2006) the V-blacks experienced a new rather happy period – in 2007 they even played (but lost) the final championship against Siena – also extended to Europe: in 2009 the conquest of the Eurochallenge, an event of Fiba. But clouds and thunderstorms had not yet passed: in 2016, really surprisingly, here is the second relegation. Bologna, the famous Basket City, was no longer there also due to the collapse of Fortitudo, disbarred in 2012, restarted from National Division B and returned to Serie A only in 2019. Virtus went better: already in 2017 he was back in the top league with Segafredo and his projects behind him.
The Slavic, or rather Serbian, turning point is in recent seasons: Djordjevic on the bench since 2018, on the field the various Teodosic (the play center of everything), Markovic (the irreplaceable complement of the titular director), Alibegovic, Nikolic. The reconquest of Europe – success in the Fiba Champions League in 2019 – has not yet been accompanied by the great dream of returning to the Euroleague: the failure to conquer the Eurocup or at least the final – story of early spring – will postpone a judged goal. fundamental by Zanetti. But every return to the top is accompanied by hard times. Segafredo went through a heavy one in winter, while from the NBA she managed to get back Marco Belinelli, returned to the club that had launched him just twenty years ago: Djordjevic was sacked and reinstated within a few hours, with a Kafkaesque scenario – practically timed coach, destined to leave at the end of the season – that this final and this Scudetto now in your pocket will probably redesign. How can anyone who is denying the title to the armored Armani be kicked out? He won’t be able to do it there power, at a guess; instead it will be Djordjevic who will decide if he will stay in a club that a few months ago had discouraged him. But this will be an “after” theme. Now there is the present to live and enjoy, together with the ranks of illustrious fans: among these, in addition to Bonaga, Gianluca Pagliuca, Andrea Mingardi, Alberto Tomba, Pierferdinando Casini, the former premier Romano Prodi. For them too Virtus, like Homeric Ulysses, always returns.
June 10, 2021 (change June 10, 2021 | 13:44)
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