Italbasket towards the World Cup, great faith in the Azzurri and in Poz: “Spectacular climate, never seen before”


By John

In an atmosphere of great trust, Italy lives on the eve of the debut in the basketball World Cup against Angola. Not only are the seven victories in a row won in the approach to the tournament instilling optimism – a positive streak that should extend tomorrow in the match against the African team, on paper the least strong in the group which also includes the Dominican Republic and the Philippines -, but also in the positive atmosphere that reigns in the group. “I have lived many gatherings but the climate that I perceive here I had never felt before – underlines the president of the Fip, Gianni Petrucci – It was created by coach Pozzecco and by his staff and will remain beyond the result. Obviously we hope to go as far as possible ». And it is the coach, sitting next to him, who dictates the Azzurri’s line for the tournament: «Let’s believe it».
«We can experience the World Cup thinking that everything revolves around a prediction, and in the event of failure run to find a culprit – continued the coach – or give the players the opportunity to experience this event with confidence. This national team is loved and respected, and the sporting result will not take away this status – Pozzecco said again -. So far the guys have done a really good job and they deserve this consideration. Now they have to continue having fun and playing basketball together, then we’ll see where we stand. We respect everyone but we just need to be focused on our basketball and our identity.” According to the blue coach, in the tournament «there isn’t an unbeatable team, not even for the USA it will be so obvious. In my opinion, there are a dozen national medalists».
«Since day one, Poz pushes a lot on few things. One of these is helping everyone in defense, which feeds confidence in attack. It’s a nice feeling to know that in this team everyone helps everyone», explained captain Gigi Datome, echoed by Nicolò Melli: «We sacrifice ourselves for each other.
We are very undersized in this tournament, so we have to give each other a hand in every situation and ours is a group where you can see that everyone is putting something extra. But, as our coach says, in the end it’s always the pitch that speaks». «We’ll be a bit tense for the debut and that’s okay – said one of the most eagerly awaited players, Simone Fontecchio -. We all have full confidence in ourselves and the climate is positively affected by it».
Italy returns to play a World Cup in the Philippines after the 1978 edition in Manila, which closed with a fourth place which to date remains the best placement in a world championship review. Repeating it won’t be easy, but the important thing is to start by believing in it.