Montepaschi welcomed to Siena its former coach Simone Pianigiani and Fenerbahce Ulker. The home team supporter also celebrated the careers of Shaun Stonerook and Terrel McIntyre. They both have been main actors of the stunning achievements reached by them team in the last decade and they both retired last season. McIntyre at the beginning of the tournament due to an injury while he was playing for Virtus Bologna, while Shaun Stonerook retired at the end of last season after clinching his 6th title in a row. Jerseys n.20 (Stonerook) and n.5 (McIntyre) have been placed above the court fixed to the ceiling of the palaestra as the sign of a very recent and glorious past. Coming to the game Montepaschi Siena seems already on a good way to build a good team chemistry. The team coached by Luca Banchi downed the Turkish squad for 89-61 led by the top scorer Matt Janning who scored 21, followed by Bobby Brown and David Moss with 17 each. Benjamin Eze, back to Siena after a year of inactivity, nailed 11 points and added 10 rebounds. Fenerbahce and Pianigiani have to do a very hard work in order to put together all of the pieces of an almost brand new roster. They had 16 from McCalebb, 14 from RomainSato (both former Siena players) and 13 from Mike Batiste.
Cantu and Cremona challenged each other for the 'Fabio and Simo' trophy, an annual pre-season game dedicated to the memory of two home supporters that were part of the 'Eagles'. Cantu is still waiting for Markoishvili, Tabu and Tyus but could count for the first time on Pietro Aradori and Marco Cusin. They joined their new team a couple of days ago after the amazing experience with the italian national team. On the other side Cremona was missing Kotti and Huff that are playing with the national team of Finland. Cantu won 78-75 thanks to an outstanding performance of Nicolas Mazzarino (23 points, 6/7 from3p) and a profitable debut of Aradori who scored 17. Maarty Leunen keeps on providing solid performances and scored 14. Not good impressions as in the other friendly games by Jeff Brooks and Jerry Smith. The two newcomers need time to get into the system. Cremona was led by Jarrius Jackson, 24pt, and Aaron Johnson 14.
Varesewon another match and defeated Virtus Bologna for 61-51. The team coached by Vitucci is doing great in the pre-season. Mike Green with 19 points and Dunston were the top scorers for the reds, while Bologna had 14 from Smith and 12 from Minard.
Biella managed a loss against Casale, 78-71 after a very balanced game and had good performances from Jurak and Brackins.
Avellino was defeated by FMC Ferentino 90-86. The team coached by Valli was missing Dragovic and Richardson and had 17 points from Crow, 16 from Warren, 14 from Biligha and 15 from Hardy.
Sassari faced the european champs of Olympiacos at the PalaSerradimigni and was downed 87-106. The game ended after 38 minutes when Joey Dorsey went for a powerful dunk and destroyed the board. Thornton scored 22, Travis Diener 20, Sacchetti 13, while Drake Diener and DeVecchi posted 11 each. Top scorer for the greeks was Printezis with 19, while Gecevicius added 18 and Spanoulis 17.
I had the opportunity to have a little chat with the new UCC Assigeco Piacenza signing, Gilvydas Biruta (203-PF-91, college: Rhode Island). He started the season at Aries Trikalla BC in Greek A1 league. In 21 games he recorded 11.0ppg, 7.0rpg and 1.5apg this season. Biruta ended the last season at GS Lavrio (also in A1) where in 5 games he averaged 3.4ppg and 2.2rpg. But the most of that year he spent at Neptunas Klaipeda in Lithuanian LKL. In 21 games he had 3.5ppg and 2.4rpg. Biruta hel... [read more]