UDINE. Seven minutes from the end Foulland, 15 quality points, is already shooting the basket with yet another screaming dunk. The score is 62-39 for the Old Wild West. From there, a game that had dragged on for about ten minutes with Scafati annihilated by the defense of Boniciolli’s bianconeri, is virtually over. Udine is in the final of the Italian Cup, all true, all beautiful.
Scafati was built to win the championship. Boniciolli knows this, he knows that to play for it he has to give everyone minutes and ask everyone for intensity. And he knows he has to come up with something. Before the game he and his colleague Finelli had remembered a teacher who is no longer there: Mario De Sisti, the coach of mixed defenses.
With a “triangle and two” and a lot of intensity the guys from the West built a crazy game. It started well and went on even better. Thomas, the bogeyman, is taken and delivered in rotation by Pellegrino, Foulland, Italiano, Antonutti, Deangeli. Scafati staggers in the first quarter, also because Udine in attack is determined, aggressive, but not perfect with some threes coming out. An overbearing dunk by the captain seems to say: here we are, we believe it, we want the final. A triple of Deangeli even more.
Everyone plays, only Johnson, the most anticipated, is silent in attack. First quarter 16-13 for the Friulians, who put energy. The mission is precisely this: a few minutes of quality and rest, and inside another. Schina type who places the triple of 19-16, in the wake of Good Friday. Scafati struggles and Marino too has to go out, injured his foot again. Pellegrino is superlative: he defends all right against Thomas, runs, crushes: super. Just missing …
Bam, triple of DJ, is 26-15. Too good to be true? No, DJ repeats it, including ballet basket: 29-15. Unbelievable, it is the best Apu of the season, because the “triangle and two” defense of the 80s confuses Scafati and Schina is tarantolato. Ball recovered, dunk by DJ: +16. Then also +17 with Italian signing up for the rumba. At one point it is Udine against super Thomas who vaguely tries to keep up the bells at the interval. The score is eloquent: 46-25. Total domination, with 9 out of 15 from three.
The game is long, but what we have seen is more than a premise. Because the APU does another thing well: it plays calmly in attack and in defense continues to bite. It is clear, the shooting percentages are lowered, the turnovers begin to flock, but often the stray balls are from Udine who continue to have the eyes of the tiger. And one thinks of coach Boniciolli’s words on the eve: we are enticed by the Cup, but three games in three days frighten us.
Yes, all true, but the appetite comes from eating caliphs like Giuri and Johnson. They are the ones who keep the bar straight in the middle of the third quarter when Scafati tries, always timidly, to explore the possibility of a comeback. Like when DJ at the end of the umpteenth stubborn action fishing Schina alone under the basket. O Nobile scores a triple of pure oxygen.
Or Foulland is relentless with the hook. Parity. Yes a tie: the third quarter ends in a draw between the two teams, the Old Wild West leads 58-37 and sees the finish line of the final with Napoli who beat Tortona in the overtime.
Scafati is on the mat, Foulland continues to take a position, find the advantage and suffer fouls or score, the body language is that of a team in trust. Schina also defends on the referee if he happens to be in range, and scores. Yes, it’s the perfect match that drags on to the end without too much jolt.
We do not know if the Old Wild West will win the Italian Cup today. Napoli of coach Sacripanti, with Mayo and the former Trieste Parks makes your wrists tremble.
But whatever happens, the APU has shown two things: it is a solid, united team that is growing visibly and has climbed the hierarchies of ambitious companies seeking glory. It is not a small thing, perhaps it is the most important. Final: 72-51 with the last basket of the “engineer” Spangaro. A thirty in Scafati. To remember. But we must not be satisfied. Never.