By Eurohoops team / firstname.lastname@example.org
As this will be his last major competition with Italy, coach Messina was asked to comment on how he feels about notable coaches staying out of the qualification for the upcoming World Cup, due to the timing of the games.
“It’s sad. If you’re working in the NBA or the EuroLeague, you’re out of the NT competition. All coaches and players think the same, but there are none in the room where these decisions are taken. I will watch and support Italy on television.”
Messina continued by saying: “I could use more harsh words than these. It’s humiliating for the Federations that will ask a group of players to qualify to say ‘thank you, somebody else who is supposedly better than you will go to the main competition’. That’s a humiliation”.
After a short commentary and joke to the FIBA representative of the press conference, when asked to talk about the game, the coach replied: “It was great! You would like to see more of these games. More Valanciunas, Melli, Belinelli, and all these kids. You wanna see that”, meaning that all these players won’t be able to participate according to the applied rules.
“I just wonder what the next step of this brilliant brain contest will be. I wanna see the brain contest winner.”
As for injured Nicolo Melli and his situation, he highlights: “I work for coach Pop, I would get fired for letting him play, but he wanted to”.
When asked if he’ll be available in the next game, Messina was enigmatic: “I will go to the church and pray.”
(Photo credit: FIBA.basketball)