Banco di Sardegna Sassari downed Scandone Avellino 90-60 to win the friendly preseason tournament hosted by Italian airline, Air Italy. Armani Milano claimed an impressive victory over Varese 106-72 to capture the title at the Torneo di Castelletto Ticino the other day.
Italian hoops fans were treated to some warm-up action delivered by Sassari and Avellino. The long basketball break has finally come to an end and teams are returning to the hardwood in preparation for the upcoming 2018-19 season. The Italian Serie A tips off on October 7th.
Avellino had a strong showing for themselves in 2017-18 securing a berth in the playoffs. Unfortunately, they fell to Dolomiti Trento three games to one in their quarterfinals series. EA7 Emporio Armani Milano ended up claiming the 2017-18 title. Banco di Sardegna Sassari failed to make the playoffs, but look to return their organization to its former glory. After all, they were the ones who held the golden trophy above their heads in 2014-15.
Sassari put on display some solid teamwork as well as a near-polished offensive game, something that isn’t too common this early. They opened up the game with purposeful play and thanks to some uncontested jumpers and other easy baskets in the paint were able to post an early 21-17 lead in the first quarter.
The second period saw more of the same but to their credit, Banco di Sardegna Sassari also brought some defense, not normally found in friendly tournaments such as this one. They built on their early advantage and outscored Avellino to have a 48-30 lead at halftime.
Scandone Avellino would battle back after the break with a 20-15 run of their own. Unfortunately for them, it was too little, too late as Sassari ended the game with a flurry and ran away with the victory in the fourth quarter.
Achille Polonara led Sassari with 18 points. They may have drawn first blood in the preseason and take home a shiny new trophy to add to their collection but it’s safe to assume that we should see more basketball action from both these Italian clubs before October 7th.