1969–70 Serie A (basketball)
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The 1969–70 Serie A
basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular Basketball court, court, compete with the primary objective of #Shooting, shooting a basketball (ball), basketball (appr ...
championship was the 47th season of the
Serie A The Serie A (), also called Serie A TIM for national sponsorship with TIM, is a professional league competition for football clubs located at the top of the Italian football league system and the winner is awarded the Scudetto and the Cop ...
, the highest professional basketball league in
Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic, ) or the Republic of Italy, is a country in Southern Europe. It is located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, and its territory largely coincides with the homonymous geographical ...
. The regular season ran from 2 November 1969 to 12 April 1970, twelve teams played 22 games each. The team ranked first at the end of the season, Ignis Varese, was crowned champion (earning the single spot in the European Champions Cup) whilst the two lowest ranked teams, Splugen Brau Gorizia and Brill Cagliari, were relegated to the Serie A. Ignis Varese won their second consecutive league title, fourth overall.


Season narrative


Preseason

All clubs were allowed only one foreign player though the two clubs engaged in European competition ( Ignis Varese and Fides Napoli) recruited another one to play in those competitions and All'Onesta' Milano's Tony Gennari, an American of Italian heritage, had controversially been naturalised as an Italian a few years prior. Nearly all of those foreigners were American, with Varese's
Manuel Raga Manuel "Manolo" Raga Navarro (born March 14, 1944) is a Mexican former professional basketball player. During his playing career, he was nicknamed, "The Flying Mexican", due to his nationality and his one of a kind 43 inch standing (no step) vert ...
- from Mexico - a notable exception. The only two clubs without a sponsored name - widely the major source of revenue for clubs - were
Virtus Bologna Virtus Pallacanestro Bologna, known for sponsorship reasons as Virtus Segafredo Bologna, is an Italian professional basketball club based in Bologna, Emilia-Romagna. The club was founded in 1929, which makes it the oldest club in Italy and one ...
, who had chosen to keep their name intact, and
Pallacanestro Cantù Pallacanestro Cantù, known for sponsorship reasons as Acqua S.Bernardo Cantù, is an Italian professional basketball club that is based in Cantù, Lombardy. On the European-wide club competition scene, Cantù is second to Real Madrid – again ...
, whose sponsor Oransoda had withdrawn from basketball sponsorship. Ignis Varese, who had won both the domestic league and cup the previous season, was seen as the strong favourite to retain its title, with Simmenthal Milano, All'Onesta' Milano, Virtus Bologna and Fides Napoli cited as their main adversaries. The defending champions had named
Aleksandar Nikolić Aleksandar "Aca" Nikolić ( sr-cyr, Александар "Аца" Николић; 28 October 1924 – 12 March 2000) was a Serbian professional basketball player and coach. He was also a professor at the University of Belgrade's Faculty of Sp ...
as coach and reinforced a squad already containing Raga,
Dino Meneghin Dino Meneghin (, ; born 18 January 1950) is an Italian former professional basketball player. He is widely considered to be the best Italian player ever, as well as one of Europe's all-time greats. A 2.06 m (6 ft 9 in) tall center, Meneghi ...
,
Aldo Ossola Aldo Ossola (born 13 March 1945) is an Italian former basketball player. At a height of 1.92 m (6'3 "), he was a point guard with a great ability to set the offensive rhythm and game tempo for his team. He is a member of the Italian Basketball Ha ...
and Ottorino Flaborea with former league top-scorer Paolo Vittori, Simmenthal had two arrivals (including Renzo Bariviera) for two departures, with the form of key duo
Massimo Masini Massimo Masini (born 9 May 1945) is a former Italian professional basketball player and coach. At a height of tall, he played at the center position. He was named one of FIBA's 50 Greatest Players in 1991. Club career Masini spent the major p ...
and Jim Tillman cause for concern, All'Onesta' were counting on American pair Gennari and Joe Isaac, Virtus Bologna - led by captain Dado Lombardi and
1969 NBA draft The 1969 NBA draft was the 23rd annual draft of the National Basketball Association (NBA). The draft was held on April 7 and May 7, 1969, before the 1969–70 season. In this draft, fourteen NBA teams took turns selecting amateur U.S. college ba ...
fourth-pick Terry Driscoll with recent
Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic, ) or the Republic of Italy, is a country in Southern Europe. It is located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, and its territory largely coincides with the homonymous geographical ...
coach Nello Paratore at the helm - were seen as the dark horse for the title, with Napoli – minus Vittori – described as having a competitive but aging squad.


Regular season

After nine straight wins to open the season, Varese was undone 73-76 after one overtime by Simmenthal Milano on 11 January 1970, allowing the Milanese to close the gap between the two front runners to two points. The Ignis-sponsored club lost only once more, an 80-88 defeat to Snaidero Udine on 22 March 1970, right before playing Real Madrid in the European Champions Cup. An 82-72 win over Simmenthal during the penultimate game on 6 April took Varese's lead to an unassailable six points over Milano, the only serious contender for the title during a season which saw the holders in near unattainable form, adding the European Champions Cup, Italian Cup and Intercontinental Cup later that year. The last round of the season took part on 12 April, with only honour at stake, Brill Cagliari - relegated long before with only two wins - upset Virtus Bologna 81-77 at home to earn their third win, the only notable result as all top-ranked sides won. It was another setback for Virtus, who failed to meet predictions as they finished eighth, far behind both Milano squads and Napoli who placed according to forecasts. Splugen Brau Gorizia, the other promoted side that season besides Cagliari, had seen their relegation confirmed the previous round, despite their player Elnardo Webster leading the league in scoring with 593 points (26.9 per game) to Raga's 558 (25.4 pg).


Standings

Source
Lega Basket


Individual scoring table

''Source: unofficial statistics compiled by Giganti del Basket magazine (official statistics started from the 1975–76 season).''


Italian Cup

Ignis Varese also won the Italian Cup after beating Simmenthal Milano 75-66 in the final, played in Rome on 19 April 1970. The third place game between losing semifinalists saw Fides Napoli down All'Onesta' Milano 95-70.


Championship-winning squad

Ignis Varese 1969–70 Serie A champions * 4 Edoardo Rusconi * 5 Ottorino Flaborea * 6 Livio Paschini * 7 Toto Bulgheroni * 8 Giorgio Consonni * 9 Paolo Vittori * 10
Aldo Ossola Aldo Ossola (born 13 March 1945) is an Italian former basketball player. At a height of 1.92 m (6'3 "), he was a point guard with a great ability to set the offensive rhythm and game tempo for his team. He is a member of the Italian Basketball Ha ...
* 11
Dino Meneghin Dino Meneghin (, ; born 18 January 1950) is an Italian former professional basketball player. He is widely considered to be the best Italian player ever, as well as one of Europe's all-time greats. A 2.06 m (6 ft 9 in) tall center, Meneghi ...
* 13 Claudio Malagoli * 15
Manuel Raga Manuel "Manolo" Raga Navarro (born March 14, 1944) is a Mexican former professional basketball player. During his playing career, he was nicknamed, "The Flying Mexican", due to his nationality and his one of a kind 43 inch standing (no step) vert ...
* Coach: Aca Nikolić Source
Lega Basket


Notes


References

{{DEFAULTSORT:1969-70 Lega Basket Serie A Lega Basket Serie A seasons 1
Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic, ) or the Republic of Italy, is a country in Southern Europe. It is located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, and its territory largely coincides with the homonymous geographical ...