After saying goodbye to 2022 with a streak of four consecutive victories, Assigeco Piacenza is preparing to continue its journey in the complicated away match in Casale Monferrato. The Piedmontese arrive at the challenge in a moment of less than stellar form (only one victory in the last seven games), but results aside, coach Andrea Valentini’s team has never stopped expressing quality basketball. The red-and-whites will therefore face a well-organized formation in a difficult challenge whose outcome could prove decisive in terms of the playoffs. Back at work after the Christmas break, assistant coach Fabio Farina believes the team can benefit from the rest period to resume the championship with an edge:
“The stop was more than deserved, I think it came at the best moment to recharge the batteries not only from a physical point of view, but also from a mental point of view. At the beginning of the year we met in the gym with an excellent spirit, we are working well in approaching the match with Casale and apart from a few small aches and pains to manage, I think we are off to a good start”.
Against Vanoli we saw the best Assigeco of the season. What worked so well and how did you manage to dominate one of the best-equipped formations in the league?
“We played a game of depth above all on a mental level, paying close attention to their team and individual characteristics. We managed to limit their guns and raise our level of physicality, which is a priority when you face teams like Vanoli. I think these were the keys that allowed us to win the match and get two really important points.”
After a difficult moment, the team made huge strides in December. What is the main cause of this leap in quality?
“The main motivation is certainly the daily work. The guys are always very helpful and always put great sacrifice into what we do in the gym. When these prerequisites are in place, we can only improve, let’s hope that this growth never stops and that like last year we can continue on the right path until the end of the championship”.
At the moment Assigeco is dominating in many championship statistics, both at individual and team level. Despite your current good position in the standings, is it possible that so far you have collected less than you deserved?
“I always make a clear distinction between results and performance. Games are won or lost, but I think performance has never been lacking. In the A2 championship every game is difficult and there isn’t a team that rolls out the red carpet for you. Every point must be conquered, especially when playing away from home where the level of difficulty increases even more”.
Wednesday against Novipiù Monferrato Basket we will see the clash between two of the best scorers in the championship (McGusty and Redivo) and two of the most prolific rebounders of the first round (Skeens and Carver). How will you try to overcome this transfer with an important specific weight?.
“We will face a formidable opponent on a historically complicated field for everyone. The roster is made up of important players, and the team is first in the league in total rebounds and third in assists distributed per game. This makes even more the idea that for us it will be an important test and we will have to take another step forward. However, we continue to work hard and we are preparing ourselves in the best possible way to continue our streak of consecutive victories”.CopyAMP code
NOVIPIU’ MONFERRATO BASKETBALL
With a record of 5 victories and 8 defeats, the team coached by coach Andrea Valentini hosts Assigeco with the clear objective of obtaining two points of fundamental importance for the playoff fight. The roster of the Piedmontese training presents a rather young nucleus integrated with some targeted additions of experience. The starting backcourt will be made up of Quinn Ellis, last year who averaged a good season of 8 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists in Capo d’Orlando and Lucio Redivo, one of the most talented Argentine guards in the league. In the small forward position there will be Matteo Formenti, a former red-and-white-blue who is making his experience available to the Piedmontese team for the second consecutive year. The long line is made up of captain Niccolò Martinoni, the historic flag of the club in his twelfth season in Casale Monferrato and Aaron Carver, an outstanding American rebounder ex-Zenit St. Petersburg. Coming off the bench, coach Valentini will be able to count on the performance of former Imola player Luca Valentini and Nicolò Castellino, born in 2002, last year best Under 21 in the Serie B championship with the Langhe Roero Basketball tank top. The wings pack is made up of Gianmarco Leggio, a deadly shooter from beyond the arc and Matteo Ghirlanda, a former Blue Star who arrived in Casale halfway through last season. The roster is rounded off by Estonian big forward Karl Poom, a product of the Novipiù Campus Piemonte nursery and the very young Lorenzo Mele and Mark Chornohrytskyi.
The first leg ended with a score of 65-61 in favor of Assigeco, at the end of a hard-fought match with low scores resolved in the final by a feat from the arc by Davide Pascolo.
HOW TO FOLLOW THE GAME
The game can be streamed on the LNP Pass website (https://lnppass.legapallacanestro.com/).
The race is followed with real-time updates on the company’s social profiles: Facebook (https://it-it.facebook.com/uccassigecopiacenza/) and Instagram (@ucc_assigeco_piacenza).