Virtus Bologna therefore returned to Italy basketball champion, thanks to the coat trimmed at Olimpia Milano: 73-62 in the last match on Friday 11th in Bologna. The final series ends in this way, sensationally, 4-0 and the V-blacks end up undefeated in the playoffs with 10 wins and zero defeats. The last title dates back to 2001 – when, you see the cases of life, the coach was that Ettore Messina today a defeated rival on the AX bench – and in any case not the first time, in the history of the V-blacks, that there are 20 years of fasting between one championship and another. Dominant from 1946 to 1956 (six times before), Virtus took just two decades (victory in 1976, in an era still without playoffs) to be queen again and to hit the mark for the seventh time. Then followed two braces (1978 and 1979), the success of the star (1984: even the tenth title was won against Milan), a treble (1993-1995), the famous 1998 triumph against Fortitudo, then the fifteenth laurel. in 2001. The sixteenth championship – won in spite of a prediction that seemed more favorable to Armani – arrives in the year in which the Virtus sports center (which also includes gymnastics, athletics, baseball, football and fencing and one of the oldest in Italy) celebrates the 150th anniversary of its foundation. Furthermore, it could be the beginning of a new cycle, given the ambitious programs of the sponsor Segafredo. But also a championship that must be explained: here then are, in our opinion, the four points that have made Virtus great again.
1 – Hunger and motivation
The first element to consider is motivation. In these twenty years Virtus has not only not won, but has also known a radiation (after the season in 2003 the club did not register and managed to escape the disappearance by acquiring the sporting title of Castelmaggiore in LegaDue) and a second relegation (2015-2016). A club of this level could not therefore be satisfied with living or remaining on the margins of our basketball, after having been dominant for a long time and having contributed, together with the cousins of Fortitudo, to the image of Bologna as an Italian Basketball City. Virtus was hungry and it showed: it devoured Milan and its ambitions. After all, the program of Massimo Zanetti and his Segafredo – ambitious sponsor also in other sports, in the present and in the past – is very clear and does not foresee alternative options: Juventus Bologna cannot fail to be at the top, both in Italy and in Europe. .
2 – Teodosic and Serbian traction
Returned to Serie A in 2017, Virtus in March 2019, Pino Sacripanti exonerated, was entrusted to Sasha Djordjevic, great former Serbian playmaker from Milan and the cousins of Fortitudo (as well as Real Madrid, Barcelona, Pesaro and, for a short time, the Portland Trail Blazers) and Olympic vice-champion and world champion coach with the national team of his country. With Sale at the helm the Serbian traction of the team was set, represented by Milos Teodosic, director with magical hands and formidable creativity, and by Stefan Markovic, considered a complementary player (also on a human level) of his compatriot. The Slavic imprint then accentuated by Amar Alibegovic, 26, and Stefan Nikolic, 24. Both are naturalized Italians, but the first Bosnian and the second Serbian. However, the turning point was given above all by the Teodosic-Markovic couple, with Milos at the end good, after a few empty passages, at interpreting the role for which he was wanted: that of leader, or, as Boscia Tanjevic says, of boss -player.
3 – The importance of the Italian group
A key explanation of the dominance in the final in the contribution given by the Italian member of the team. Although without the injured Tessitori (also center of the national team), Virtus has been able to obtain the maximum, in terms of performance, decision and maturity, as a captain Giampaolo Ricci (also become a long distance shooting specialist), da Alessandro Pajola (play-guard among the revelations of the year and permanently included in the rotations in the direction with Teodosic and Markovic), Awudu Abass (formerly on duty and a factor on various fronts, defense in the first place) and that Marco Belinelli who, returned last November from the long adventure in the NBA, was drafted to give experience and quality in the hot moments. The indigenous group of Segafredo has literally outclassed that of Olimpia, wrinkled in a year in which he had little space in the Euroleague and which even during the championship was not used too much.
4 – Djordjevic’s revenge
And then, of course, there is the commander. That is Sasha Djordjevic. Great both for his past as a player and for his successes as a manager. Yet his virtuoso adventure – started well: on 11 March 2019 he took over from Pino Sacripanti and in May he won the Champions League, the club’s first trophy in a long time – he experienced an unexpected black moment. Indeed, breaking. After four consecutive defeats in Serie A and after the decision to delay Belinelli’s debut, the December 7 was unexpectedly exonerated. But within 24 hours he was put back in his place: perhaps it was feared (and it was not wrong) that once he was kicked out, Teodosic and Markovic would also leave. From that day on, Djordjevic lived in a situation more as a separate home player (with an expiring contract) than as a coach destined to remain (a plausible hypothesis only in the case of a championship). In addition, at the beginning of spring, the failure to win the Eurocup final did not help, a result that prevented the automatic promotion to the Euroleague. But now that he has won the Scudetto, Bologna is thinking of confirming it. It remains to be seen if he wants it… His situation recalls that of Boscia Tanjevic in 1996 in Milan: he lost the final of the Korac Cup (March 13), and he found himself de facto disheartened. But that situation charged him and the team and the then Stefanel first won the Italian Cup (23 March, just 10 days after the European disappointment) and then the Scudetto. For Boscia, by his choice, he decided to close and went to Limoges. The title of Virtus, therefore, is immediately linked to a question: what to do with his coach, imiter Tanjevic or not?