By Cesare Milanti / email@example.com
After stealing the show in the 2023 FIBA World Cup with Latvia, bringing the Baltic national team to 5th place in its first-ever tournament appearance, Luca Banchi starts another basketball chapter in his career.
Replacing Sergio Scariolo, the 58-year-old has been presented to the media as the newest Virtus Bologna’s head coach. “I don’t hide my emotion and satisfaction to be here today in such an important and prestigious team. I didn’t have any doubts when to decided to accept this challenge. It looks difficult to elevate the level when the level of excellence has already been reached, but I’ll try my best to do so with my style. I don’t want to slow down things because I didn’t participate in the building process of the team. I have enough experience to understand we have to follow the previous paths”, he first said.
Finally, the former Olimpia Milano‘s head coach talks about the ambition he has at the beginning of such an exciting adventure. “Playing in Bologna has always been special, even as an opponent. I can’t wait to make you proud of a team that can be appreciated for commitment, ambition, and the desire to win. Nobody wakes up to end in the second place”, Luca Banchi then added to conclude the press conference.
Before the Latvian’s national team head coach took the mic, Virtus Bologna’s owner commented on Luca Banchi joining the black-and-white team. “Today it’s a great day because we present an amazing head coach, who was named the best one of the 2023 FIBA World Cup. I told him earlier when we met. I had to take him because all the fans on social media, people who called me, all wanted Luca Banchi. I also spoke with another great head coach Walter De Raffaele, but everybody wanted Luca Banchi. He said yes immediately because coming to Virtus must be an honor. With the pleasure and satisfaction of being part of this family”, he said.
“Considering that Virtus Bologna is mine, I need to defend it. It’s the most important team in Italy, with the highest number of fans – more than a lot of football teams. It’s not possible that Virtus is considered like others. I consider Sergio Scariolo an amazing head coach, who I defended until the very last minute. But something happened between him and us, and all love comes to an end eventually”, he then commented on the Spanish national team’s head coach.
Moving on with the former Virtus Bologna’s head coach, he touched on his meetings with other teams. “We can’t forget all the meetings he had with Toronto and Real Madrid, having a contract with Virtus Bologna. This year’s team is very strong because Scariolo built it. I’m very attached to Milos Teodosic, but last October Sergio Scariolo wanted to take both him and Marco Belinelli out of the team because he considered them old. This year’s budget was imposed by the EuroLeague, not by us. We have been treated like rags for six months now”, Massimo Zanetti ended on Sergio Scariolo.
PHOTO CREDIT: 2023 FIBA World Cup