Basketball. CUS Bologna is European champion for the second consecutive year

In Coimbra, Portugal, the men's team of Alma Mater confirmed its position as the best team in Europe, beating the Turks of Beykent University in the final.

The men's basketball team at CUS Bologna is the European champion for the second consecutive year. In Coimbra, Portugal - home of the European University Championships (EUSA) - the team from the University of Bologna beat the Turks of Beykent University in the final, 92 to 75, winning the gold medal. The players of CUS Bologna have thus confirmed their status as European champions, after the triumph of last year at the EUSA in Miskolc, Hungary.

The Alma Mater team is the first in Italy to repeat a European final 12 months later. A new victory in the international field that adds to the many others of recent years: first Italian university team to reach the podium, first to make the final, first to win the European title.

"It's an extraordinary feeling", says Coach Matteo Lolli. "A success that we have earned by managing to beat very strong teams. Our strength is the concept of working as a team: while others have focused on three or four players, we have always counted on the strength of eleven players and an extraordinary staff".

The victory in the final against the Turks of Beykent University came at the end of an uphill match for CUS Bologna. After the first finishing behind in the first two quarters - the first at 14-22 and the second 41-46 - the Alma Mater team found the strength to recover. They managed to overturn the result in the third quarter (66-63) and then to further boost their lead in the last minutes, ending the game with a lopsided 92 to 75.

"It was a crescendo finale", confirms Alessio Tugnoli, nominated MVP of the match. "We ended the season in the best possible way". And the team captain, Gioacchino Chiappelli, is already thinking about the future: "It's the second gold medal in a row, but we won't stop here: we have a good team and we're not going to rest on our laurels".

At Coimbra, CUS Bologna played almost perfectly. The only defeat in the elimination round was against the French of Rouen. But the victory against the Poles of Jagiellonian University and the Greeks of Democritus University of Thrace allowed the Alma Mater team to close the round in second place and move on to the qualifying heats. Here the boys of CUS Bologna met one of the most feared teams of the tournament: the Serbs of the University of Nis. Despite a disadvantaged start, the Unibo team managed to win and then moved on to play the Russians of Moscow State University in the semifinals. There, another success, and then the final - once again uphill - against the Turks of Beykent University that led to the European title.

"We confirmed our position as the top team", commented CUS Bologna President Piero Pagni. "We all know not only how difficult it is to win, but how much harder it is to repeat your victory. When we met with the Rector, Francesco Ubertini, before the team left for Portugal, we made a promise. We wanted to do well in Coimbra because we knew we had a good team. Deep down, we hoped for another medal. And then gold came again: an exceptional result. We've fought against great players. Beside individual talent, the CUS has shown that it has something more, something that has to do with team spirit. We have one advantage: a young group that we count on and hope to confirm in the future. As CUS Bologna we can only be proud of our guys. To our champions go the thanks of all the CUS, a thank you that must be extended to all the staff who worked in Portugal and Bologna to put everyone in a position to perform at their best".

Players: Gioacchino Chiappelli (Economics), Gustavo Savio (Economics), Gabriele Fin (Sport Science), Giacomo Sanguinetti (Sport Science), Valerio Cucci (Economics), Alberto Cacace (Sport Science), Alessio Tugnoli (Economics), Riccardo Zani (Sport Science), Matteo Folli (Engineering), Matteo Polverelli (Economics), Carlo Trentin (Orthopaedics Techniques). Managers: Matteo Lolli and Giorgio Broglia; physiotherapist: Alessandro Vitti; staff: Agostino Briatico; referee: Alessandro Tirozzi.

Published on: 31 July 2018