After almost nine months of hiatus, Italy saw the first games of wheelchair basketball back on court as FIPIC’s Final 4 of the 2020 Italian Cup took place in Grottaglie on Friday 13 and Saturday 14th November.
Iit was UnipolSai Briantea84 Cantù who took home their fifth consecutive national cup by beating the reigning Italian Champions S. Stefano Avis, 64 to 46, in the final.
It followed disruptions in the run to the finale weekend of the competition, which saw the withdrawal of two teams with GSD Porto Torres withdrawing on the Wednesday ahead of the competition, but were replace by newly promoted Farmacia Pellicanò Reggio Calabria, and subsequently the withdrawal of Amicacci Giulianova on the Thursday, this time the short notice meant a replacement could not be arranged in time.
Due to Amicacci Giulianova not being replaced S. Stefano Avis were awarded the 20-0 forfeit in the first semi-final, whilst UnipolSai Briantea84 Cantù defeated Farmacia Pellicanò Reggio Calabri (68-31) in the other semi-final on the Friday.
The final showdown between S. Stefano Avis versus UnipolSai Briantea84 Cantù was held on Saturday morning airiing live on RaiSport TV. Both sides started slowly slows, which was widely expected after such a long break, but it was Cantù who edged out to a 7-point lead at half time winning the first quarter (12-19) and tieing the second quarter (14-14).
It wasn’t until the third quarter Cantù took control of the game, thanks to a partial 12 to 2 run, giving them a 10 point advantage heading into the final quarter (35-45). A lead on which they continued to build at the start of the fourth putting the game out of reach for Stefano as Cantù ran in 45-63 winners.
Cantù’s Adolfo Berdun took MVP of the match with 17 points.
UnipolSai Briantea84 Cantù Head Coach, Daniele Riva, said:
“The greatest satisfaction is seeing the fruits of the work done so far. We had an excellent match, with the intention of immediately bringing it to our side, convinced of our match plan: and in the end we were right. I am convinced that this will be only the first of many successes together with this group of wonderful guys. “
The next games of wheelchair basketball in Italy will are set for the 9 January, with the start of the Serie A and Serie B championships, which were postponed in light of the evolution of the current health emergency.
For further information about the wheelchair basketball in Italy visit FIPIC’s website.
Photo Credit: Bizzi (FIPIC).