Among the many former players of the challenge between Apu and Fortitudo there is one who, on Sunday 6 November, will have additional motivations. It is Mattia Palumbo, a Roman playmaker born in 2000 who arrived in Udine in the summer just via Bologna.
With the “Effe” he lived more years on loan than with the biancoblù uniform on him, the direct confrontation falls short to show the Bolognese people that perhaps they did not believe in him enough.
Palumbo, what do you tell us about your fortitude period?
“It was a short but intense period: I was able to compare myself with Serie A players and compete in a European competition (the Basketball Champions League, ndr).
It was 2020/21, a rather complex year. The team had goals, they weren’t hit. I was not even able to enjoy the warmth of the Fortitudo environment, Covid imposed severe restrictions and we played behind closed doors or with very little audience “.
That year he played with coach Dalmonte, whom he finds again on Sunday as an opponent.
«I consider him a trained, methodical technician. He is one who focuses heavily on controlling the pace of the match, which is why I say that tomorrow we will have to try to impose ours ».
How do you see the current Fortitudo?
«I think it’s a team built with great individual talents. In the pre-season it struggled, after all it is a group assembled in a short time. We have to be careful, because Fortitudo, although not long as a roster, has players with points in their hands, experience and history and can create many pitfalls for us ».
How does the APU present itself at the big match?
«Winning in Rimini was fundamental, after the misstep with Cento in an unlucky match: it was a shame to play it with many absences after an eve complicated by so many punches and uncertainty about the possible postponement.
Stopping the negative streak immediately was important, now we continue our journey: we are in a team with a defined identity, but we still have to work a lot ».
You missed two games for Covid. How are you now?
«I feel very well, the virus has taken me in a mild form. In Rimini I was not ready to return, now I have just returned from a typical week, ready to lend a hand to the team ».
What game do you expect for Sunday?
«I expect a very physical and intense race. Each possession will be important to get to victory ».