Tomorrow in Trento Italy-Georgia – MegaBasket

The first of two preparatory friendlies in view of the Pre-Olympic (2/7 July in Puerto Rico) and the Azzurri’s only match in Italy in the summer of 2024. Tomorrow in Trento, Italy-Georgia (7.00 pm, live on Sky Sport Arena and New) will be a fundamental test on the road to San Juan against a solid, tough team with elements gifted with talent and physical prowess.

Shengelia and Mamukelashvili will test the level of preparation of the Azzurri, who closed the training camp just yesterday in Folgaria on Alpe Cimbra. With 13 players available and only one “cut” still to be made, coach Gianmarco Pozzecco spoke today at Palazzo Benvenuti in Trento in the usual press conference to present tomorrow’s match:

“I wanted to start the press conference by remembering two people who are no longer with us, Emanuele Fara and Abele Ferrarini with whom I shared many important moments of my career. I then wanted to take a few minutes to say thanks. First of all to Manuel Mazzoni, one of the best referees who was with us at the meeting in Folgaria, helping us during training and for pushing us to improve the referee-players/coaches relationship. I thank Matilde Villa, who was with us for a few hours yesterday before reaching the Under 20 national team gathering in Folgaria. Her smile is an added value in the world of basketball and Italian women’s sport, good luck to the Under 20s Women’s for the European Championship. I thank the players who have been with us since the beginning of the meeting, namely Amedeo Tessitori, Tomas Woldetensae, Sasha Grant, Michele Vitali and Momo Diouf: they know that they are a permanent part of the Azzurri family and of our growth path. A thought and thanks also to Simone Fontecchio, Gabriele Procida, Matteo Spagnolo and Luca Severini, guys who cannot be with us only due to physical problems. We don’t have much time to prepare for the pre-Olympic but the group has solid foundations and this helps us a lot. I hope that the boys put aside the fatigue accumulated during the season, resetting everything and having fun when they are on the pitch and also in Puerto Rico. I am often criticized for my choices, one of these was that of my coaching staff. This year I have at my side Peppe Poeta, head coach of Brescia, Edoardo Casalone assistant of a Euroleague club, Riccardo Fois assistant of an NBA franchise such as the Sacramento Kings and Federico Fucà who best represents Reggio Emilia for his wisdom and knowledge of basketball. It’s a staff that takes care of me and my players, plus we have Matteo Panichi, the best physical trainer in Europe.”

Before him, Gigi Datome, head of delegation of the men’s national team, spoke:

“I bring greetings from President Petrucci who was unable to be here today. Here in Trento we are now at home, I thank Aquila Basket, the APT and the Municipality for the usual splendid welcome. It is not easy to prepare an important event like the pre-Olympic in such a short time but we are a group that has been working together for a few years and we start again from our enthusiasm. Tomorrow we expect a full stadium and a strong opponent, as always it will be a party.”

“It is a source of pride to be captain of the national team – explained Nik Melli – but also a pleasure. This is a group that has been working together for three years, we all know each other, I am very happy with the quality of the group that we have created season after season.”

The president of L’Aquila Basket Luigi Longhi remembered the ten years of the Trentino Basket Cup:

“An event that followed my Presidency at L’Aquila Basket: it is a great pride to host the tenth edition this year, with the hope that there will still be many others. I hope that this retreat is a good omen for an event as important as the pre-Olympic. The national team belongs to everyone and is a driving force for the entire movement, I wish President Petrucci and the team the most heartfelt ‘good luck’. We know that it won’t be easy in Puerto Rico but we hope to be able to rejoice and celebrate with them.”

Ermanno Villotti, vice president of the “Bank for Trentino Alto Adige” did the honors:

“We are pleased to host this presentation in our Palazzo Benvenuti, I hope it is a hope for those who work in the world of basketball”.

Salvatore Panetta, Councilor for Sport of the Municipality of Trento, also spoke.

“Today is a day of celebration for Trento, since San Vigilio is celebrated and tomorrow’s match against Georgia will also be a celebration. Trento is a city that loves sport and hosting the national team is always a source of pride for us. We have renovated the building to best accommodate the Azzurri and I wish them good luck in the pre-Olympic games. Seeing champions so attached to the national team shirt is always a great feeling.”

Finally, Matteo Agnolin, director of the Trento APT, spoke.

“As a Tourism Company it is an enormous pleasure to host the tenth edition of the Trentino Basket Cup, for us it is an important opportunity to make our city known. Thanks to L’Aquila Basket Trento for the organisation, the connection between our cities and basketball is increasingly stronger every year”.

The match against Shengelia and Mamukelashvili opens the second period of preparation for the Pre Olimpico (2/7) which will see Italy fly to Madrid on 24 June to play against Sergio Scariolo’s Spain on the 25th and then fly to Miami on the 26th June. Transfer to San Juan on Saturday 29 June. Debut against Bahrain on 2 July.

The stay in Trentino will therefore end tomorrow at the “Il T Quotidiano Arena” at 7.00 pm with the tenth edition of the “Trentino Basket Cup” and the challenge against Georgia. Start scheduled for 7.00pm live on Sky Sport.

FIP Press Office

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