The thirty-second title won by Ettore Messina in his coaching career is also his fifth personal championship, with three different teams as before him only Valerio Bianchini and Carlo Recalcati had done but they with a total of three wins against five precisely. The title is also the fourth trophy won in Milan. Olimpia under his leadership played six out of six Italian finals with four victories. Ettore Messina is the ninth coach to win the Scudetto with Olimpia. “The best way to end the season is this. For three months you enjoy it because you are Italian Champion. We have won the Italian Cup, we have won the Scudetto, we have lost players on the street, between injuries and cases of doping, in addition our opponents have strengthened significantly by adding two exceptional players along the way. In this final we did well to overturn the home factor, immediately in the first match, then in the other two in Bologna we played it all the way. On the other hand, in Milan with the support of the public I think they were three games of the highest level. My personal goal, and the club’s, is to win the third star and then possibly return to the Final Four. Thanks again to Mr. Armani and Mr. Dell’Orco: they gave me the opportunity to coach this team. But the players were the real protagonists ”.
The difference with last season: “Last year was another wonderful season, we came one step away from playing a European final, this year perhaps paradoxically we went even closer even without making the Final Four. In the final, we lost, we recognized the merits of Virtus who had played better, not to mention the budget. of referees or other things. As the great Julio Velasco said, who loses explains and who wins celebrates. Last year we explained, this year others will explain ”.
On the victory against the team that launched it: “The best moment for me in this series was when we honored Sandro Gamba’s 90th birthday. He left Milan for Varese, a bitter enemy, where he won two league titles and two European titles, and then he also went to Virtus. I believe that none of the 13,000 fans of the Forum, neither today nor 30 years ago, has ever thought of discussing or disrespecting a character like that. It makes me feel very bad to go to Bologna and take insults from a part of that fans, or not being able to bring my wife or my mother to the game. The only thing I wish Virtus is to continue to do well, to have a great future without forgetting its past. We certainly hold on to our past. Every morning as soon as we arrive at the office the first photo we see is that of Cesare Rubini, and then there are Sandro Gamba, Massimo Masini, Bill Bradley, Arthur Kenney, Mike D’Antoni and all the others. And we are proud of it. Everyone chooses to be as he wants “.
On the season: “The worst moment was when I had to tell Mr. Armani and Leo Dell’Orco that they had a second case of doping. I was ashamed as a thief, even though neither I nor the staff were to blame, nobody. There I feared that the team could pay for the loss of a crucial piece. Congratulations to the guys for knowing how to change. I am lucky to have trained them and I owe everything to my family, because they support me even when it is not easy. Without the people who love me I would not be here “.
About the staff: “Being an assistant is difficult. Maybe you make a winning suggestion and the credit goes to another. I did it too, it’s human. But they, Mario Fioretti, Gianmarco Pozzecco, Stefano Bizzozero and Marco Esposito as well as Giustino Danesi are an exceptional group. They know how to take a step back for the common good. All time. I am proud that Pozzecco is going to the national team. They said we got a jester, that together we wouldn’t last more than three months. We won the Italian Cup, the Scudetto and he is in the national team. These are the results ”.
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