Virtus Roma

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Pallacanestro Virtus Roma
2020–21 Virtus Roma season
Pallacanestro Virtus Roma logo
LeaguesLBA
Founded1960; 61 years ago (1960)
Dissolved2020; 1 year ago (2020)
HistoryVirtus Aurelia
(1960–1972)
Pallacanestro Virtus Roma
(1972–2020)
ArenaPalaLottomatica
Capacity11,200
LocationRome, Lazio, Italy
Team colorsRed, Yellow, Blue
     
PresidentAlessandro Toti
Head coachPiero Bucchi
Championships1 FIBA Intercontinental Cup
1 EuroLeague
2 FIBA Korać Cups
1 Italian League
1 Italian Supercup
Websitevirtusroma.it

Pallacanestro Virtus Roma, commonly known as Virtus Roma, was an Italian professional basketball club based in Rome, Lazio. It competed in the first division of Italian basketball, the LBA, for the last time in the 2020–21 season.

It was formerly a major side in Europe, winning the 1983–84 FIBA European Champions Cup (EuroLeague), and at one time being one of only 13 clubs to hold a EuroLeague A license. However, its standing later waned, and Virtus became less competitive in both Europe and the domestic LBA - which it had won in 1983 – before being voluntarily relegated to the Italian second division in July 2015.

On December 2020, Virtus was dissolved after the club was declared bankrupt after months of financial struggles.

For past club sponsorship names, see sponsorship names.

History[edit]

The club was formed by the merger of two Roman sides, San Saba and Gruppo Borgo Cavalleggeri, under the name Virtus Aurelia in the late 1960s, the founding date of San Saba, 1960, was kept as Virtus'. In 1972, Virtus Aurelia merged with GS Banco di Roma, the sporting wing of Banco di Roma, forming Pallacanestro Banco di Roma Virtus or simply Banco di Roma. The side reached the Italian second division in 1978, staying two years before moving up to the Italian top level LBA, in 1980.

Banco di Roma before the kick-off of the European Champions Cup match against Limoges CSP in 1983.

This was the start of an extended stay in the first division, and success followed soon after, with the side winning the 1983 championship. Earning a place in the 1983–84 FIBA European Champions Cup (EuroLeague), Virtus went on to win the competition at its first try, with a Larry Wright led squad, that also had Clarence Kea, Renzo Tombolato, and Fulvio Polesello. Wright was decisive in the EuroLeague Final against FC Barcelona, scoring 27 points, as Roma overturned a 10-point halftime deficit to win the decider.[1] The next season, the Italian club won the 1984 FIBA Intercontinental Cup, after topping a group of international clubs in Brazil.[2] Roma also won the 1985–86 FIBA Korać Cup final against Mobilgirgi Caserta.

The club's next title was the 1991–92 FIBA Korać Cup, by which time Banco di Roma had been replaced as the club's sponsor by Il Messaggero. A squad comprising Dino Rađa, Rick Mahorn, Roberto Premier, and Andrea Niccolai downed Scavolini Pesaro in the two-legged final.[1] The next year, Virtus managed to reach the FIBA Korać Cup final again, but lost the game against Philips Milano. During the 2002–03 season, Carlton Myers led the team to a 25–9 record in the Serie A (LBA), as Roma reached the playoff's semifinals.[1] After adding Dejan Bodiroga as a player, and head coach Svetislav Pešić, in the 2005 off-season, Virtus reached the ULEB Cup (EuroCup) quarterfinals, the Serie A semifinals, and the Italian Cup final, that it lost in overtime.[1]

In the summer of 2011, the Italian club's EuroLeague A-license was suspended, after it finished in the bottom half of the Serie A.[3] The next year, it lost the license completely, after having the worst record among A license clubs. It lost its license to EA7 Emporio Armani Milano.[4]

Virtus Roma supporters in 2008

In a strange twist, Virtus Roma then went on to have an excellent season, unexpectedly, by their own admission, reaching the Serie A finals, which would earn it the right to return to the EuroLeague. However, the club relinquished their rights, as they did not agree to some of the competition's requirements. In particular, paying rent for an arena with the minimum arena capacity. They thus earned a place in the second tier EuroCup instead.[5]

In July 2015, despite having satisfied the economic conditions to participate in the Italian top level LBA, the club's management asked to participate instead in the Italian second division Serie A2. The permission to do so was granted by the Italian Basketball Federation. The cited motive for the move to the lower division, was an insufficient budget to be competitive at the higher level, and the desire to restructure the club based on a youth policy.[6][7][8]

On April 23, 2019, after beating Legnano Knights by 83–88, Virtus Roma is proclaimed champion of the Serie A2, getting the direct promotion to the Serie A.[9] Virtu returns to the highest tier after an absence of four years.

Disolution[edit]

On December 9, 2020 the club withdrew from the Serie A due to financial difficulties and the inability to find a new investor.

Arenas[edit]

Fans of Roma at PalaLottomatica, in 2006.

Virtus played at the 3,500 seating capacity Palazzetto dello Sport arena, until 1983. The club then played at the 11,200 seat PalaLottomatica arena, from 1983 to 2011, except between 2000 and 2003, when the arena was undergoing extensive renovation work.[10]

After the club down scaled its operations costs, due to reduced funds, Virtus found the operating costs of the PalaLottomatica to be prohibitive, and decided to avoid playing in the larger arena. So from 2011 to 2018, it returned to the Palazzetto dello Sport, even playing games there during the 2013 Italian LBA Finals.[11]

On June 9, 2018, Virtus Roma reached a new deal with All Events SpA, the operator of PalaLottomatica, to play at the arena during the Serie A2 2018–19 season.[12]

2020–21 roster[edit]

This was the last roster that Roma had in the 2020–21 LBA season before the official withdrawal from the championship.

Virtus Roma roster
Players Coaches
Pos. No. Nat. Name Ht. Wt. Age
PF 0 Bosnia and Herzegovina Hadžić, Damir 2.03 m (6 ft 8 in) 103 kg (227 lb) 24 – (1997-05-13)13 May 1997
F/C 1 San Marino Biordi, Ygor 2.04 m (6 ft 8 in) 100 kg (220 lb) 25 – (1996-01-17)17 January 1996
G 9 United States Beane, Anthony 1.88 m (6 ft 2 in) 86 kg (190 lb) 27 – (1994-05-06)6 May 1994
G 12 Italy Campogrande, Luca 1.98 m (6 ft 6 in) 90 kg (198 lb) 25 – (1996-04-30)30 April 1996
PG 13 Italy Baldasso, Tommaso (C) 1.91 m (6 ft 3 in) 90 kg (198 lb) 23 – (1998-01-29)29 January 1998
C 14 Italy Cervi, Riccardo 2.15 m (7 ft 1 in) 115 kg (254 lb) 30 – (1991-06-19)19 June 1991
G 15 Italy Telesca, Samuele 1.90 m (6 ft 3 in) 78 kg (172 lb) 18 – (2003-02-01)1 February 2003
C 16 United States Hunt, Dario 2.03 m (6 ft 8 in) 104 kg (229 lb) 32 – (1989-05-02)2 May 1989
PG 22 United States Robinson, Gerald 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in) 77 kg (170 lb) 32 – (1989-02-10)10 February 1989
PF 23 United States Evans, Chris 2.03 m (6 ft 8 in) 100 kg (220 lb) 30 – (1991-01-29)29 January 1991
G/F 25 United States Farley, Liam 1.96 m (6 ft 5 in) 90 kg (198 lb) 26 – (1994-09-20)20 September 1994
SF 99 United States Wilson, Jamil 2.01 m (6 ft 7 in) 104 kg (229 lb) 30 – (1990-11-21)21 November 1990
Head coach
Assistant coach(es)
  • Italy Giuseppe Di Paolo
  • Italy Andrea Bonacina

Legend
  • (C) Team captain
  • Injured Injured

Updated: 10 December 2020

Note: Flags indicate national team eligibility at FIBA sanctioned events. Players may hold other non-FIBA nationality not displayed.

The team would line up as in the shown below. Roma adopted a 6+6 format where a maximum of 6 foreign players along with 6 Italian or Italian grown players could be called for each game.

Pos. Starting 5 Bench 1 Bench 2
C Dario Hunt Riccardo Cervi Ygor Biordi
PF Chris Evans Damir Hadžić
SF Jamil Wilson Liam Farley
SG Anthony Beane Luca Campogrande
PG Gerald Robinson Tommaso Baldasso

(colours: Italian or homegrown players; foreign players)

Honours[edit]

Banners of Virtus Roma

Total titles: 6

Domestic competitions[edit]

Winners (1): 1982–83
Runners-up (2): 2007–08, 2012–13
Runners-up (2): 1989–90, 2005–06
Winners (1): 2000

European competitions[edit]

Winners (1): 1983–84
Winners (2): 1985–86, 1991–92
Runners-up (1): 1992–93
Semifinalists (1): 1997–98
Runners-up (1): 1983

Worldwide competitions[edit]

Winners (1): 1984

Other competitions[edit]

  • Trofeo Ambrose
Winners (1): 2009

The road to the European victories[edit]

Season by season record[edit]

The following table shows the records from the season 1977–78 in all competitions:

Season Tier League Pos. Postseason Italian Cup Supercup Europe Worldwide
1977–78 3 Serie B 4 Green Arrow Up.svg Promoted
1978–79 2 Serie A2 5
1979–80 2 Serie A2 3 Green Arrow Up.svg Promoted
1980–81 1 Serie A 10
1981–82 1 Serie A 10
1982–83 1 Serie A 1 Champions Korać Cup Top 16
1983–84 1 Serie A 9 Quarterfinalist Euroleague Champions
1984–85 1 Serie A 1 Quarterfinalist Quarterfinalist Euroleague Top 6 Intercontinental Cup Champions
1985–86 1 Serie A 10 Quarterfinalist Quarterfinalist Korać Cup Champions Intercontinental Cup 8
1986–87 1 Serie A 8 Top 12 Top 32
1987–88 1 Serie A 10 Quarterfinalist Quarterfinalist
1988–89 1 Serie A 12 Top 32
1989–90 1 Serie A 8 Quarterfinalist Finalist
1990–91 1 Serie A 4 Semifinalist Top 16
1991–92 1 Serie A 6 Semifinalist Quarterfinalist Korać Cup Champions
1992–93 1 Serie A 12 Top 16 Korać Cup Finalist
1993–94 1 Serie A 15 Top 32
1994–95 1 Serie A 8 Quarterfinalist Quarterfinalist
1995–96 1 Serie A 6 Quarterfinalist Quarterfinalist
1996–97 1 Serie A 6 Quarterfinalist Quarterfinalist Korać Cup Quarterfinalist
1997–98 1 Serie A 8 Quarterfinalist Quarterfinalist Korać Cup Semifinalist
1998–99 1 Serie A 6 Quarterfinalist Quarterfinalist Korać Cup Top 16
1999–00 1 Serie A 6 Top 14 Quarterfinalist Korać Cup Quarterfinalist
2000–01 1 Serie A 5 Quarterfinalist Semifinalist Champions
2001–02 1 Serie A 8 Quarterfinalist
2002–03 1 Serie A 2 Semifinalist Quarterfinalist
2003–04 1 Serie A 7 Quarterfinalist Quarterfinalist Euroleague Regular season
2004–05 1 Serie A 6 Semifinalist Semifinalist
2005–06 1 Serie A 6 Semifinalist Quarterfinalist Eurocup Quarterfinalist
2006–07 1 Serie A 4 Semifinalist Quarterfinalist Euroleague Top 16
2007–08 1 Serie A 2 Finalist Quarterfinalist Euroleague Top 16
2008–09 1 Serie A 2 Quarterfinalist Quarterfinalist Euroleague Top 16
2009–10 1 Serie A 7 Semifinalist Euroleague Regular season
2010–11 1 Serie A 9 Euroleague Top 16
2011–12 1 Serie A 13
2012–13 1 Serie A 3 Finalist Semifinalist
2013–14 1 Serie A 6 Semifinalist Quarterfinalist Eurocup Regular season
2014–15 1 Serie A 10 Red Arrow Down.svg Demoted Eurocup Top 16
2015–16 2 Serie A2

Notable players[edit]

Note: Flags indicate national team eligibility at FIBA sanctioned events. Players may hold other non-FIBA nationality not displayed.

Criteria

To appear in this section a player must have either:

  • Set a club record or won an individual award while at the club.
  • Played at least one official international match for their national team at any time.
  • Played at least one official NBA match at any time.


2010s[edit]

2000s[edit]

1990s[edit]

1980s[edit]

1970s[edit]

Head coaches[edit]

Coach Jasmin Repeša and his players during a timeout during the 2005–06 season.
  • Maurizio Polidori – 1972–73
  • Francesco Della Penna – 1973–74
  • Alessandro Lisotti – 1974–76
  • Nello Paratore – 1976–81
  • Giancarlo Asteo – 1981–82
  • Paolo Di Fonzo – 1982
  • Valerio Bianchini – 1982–85
  • Mario De Sisti – 1985–86
  • Giuseppe Guerrieri – 1986–88
  • Giancarlo Primo – 1988–89
  • Petar Skansi – 1989
  • Valerio Bianchini – 1989–91
  • Paolo Di Fonzo – 1991–92
  • Franco Casalini – 1992–94
  • Nevio Ciaralli – 1994

Sponsorship names[edit]

Throughout the years, due to sponsorship, the club has been known as:

  • Virtus Aurelia (no sponsorship, 1960–61 until 1971–72)
  • Banco di Roma (1972–73 until 1987–88)
  • Phonola Roma (1988–89)
  • Il Messaggero Roma (1989–90 until 1991–92)
  • Virtus Roma (no sponsorship, 1992–93)
  • Burghy Roma (1993–94)
  • Teorematour Roma (1994–95)
  • Nuova Tirrena Roma (1995–96)
  • Telemarket Roma (1996–97)
  • Calze Pompea Roma (1997–98 until 1998–99)
  • Aeroporti di Roma Virtus (1999–00 until 2000–01)
  • Würth Roma (2001–02)
  • Lottomatica Roma (2002–03 until 2010–11)
  • Acea Roma (2011–12 until 2015–16)
  • UniCusano Roma (2016–17 until 2017–18)
  • Virtus Roma (no sponsorship, 2018–19 to present)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Club profile: Virtus Rome". EuroCup Basketball. 13 September 2013. Retrieved 17 July 2015.
  2. ^ Stankovic, Vladimir (2 December 2013). "Larry Wright, the man with two rings". EuroLeague. Retrieved 17 July 2015.
  3. ^ "New teams proposed as 2011-12 Turkish Airlines Euroleague participants". EuroLeague. 30 June 2011. Retrieved 17 July 2015.
  4. ^ "Euroleague board awards two-year Turkish Airlines Euroleague license to EA7 Emporio Armani Milan". EuroLeague. 20 June 2012. Retrieved 17 July 2015.
  5. ^ "Rome announces it will not play in Turkish Airlines Euroleague". EuroLeague. 21 June 2013. Retrieved 17 July 2015.
  6. ^ Canfora, Mario (16 July 2015). "Basket, Serie A: Roma si retrocede in A-2. Caserta ripescata" [Basketball, Serie A: Roma relegates itself to A-2. Caserta retaken]. La Gazzetta dello Sport (in Italian). Rome. Retrieved 17 July 2015.
  7. ^ "Consiglio federale a Roma. Barilla sponsor della maglia Azzurra, Ammissioni ai Campionati 2015-16, Prandi presidente CIA" [Federal council in Rome. Barilla sponsor of the blue shirt, 2015-16 championship admissions, Prandi CIA president]. Federazione Italiana Pallacanestro (in Italian). 17 July 2015. Retrieved 17 July 2015.
  8. ^ "Basket: l'Acea Virtus riparte dai giovani e dal territorio" [Basketball: Acea Virtus starts again from youth and territory]. Pallacanestro Virtus Roma (in Italian). 16 July 2015. Archived from the original on 9 August 2017. Retrieved 17 July 2015.
  9. ^ https://virtusroma.it/2019/04/20/virtus-roma-seriea-campione-legnano/
  10. ^ "Il Palazzetto dello Sport" [The Palazzetto dello Sport]. Pallacanestro Virtus Roma (in Italian). Archived from the original on 22 October 2013. Retrieved 18 July 2015.
  11. ^ Corio, Paolo (14 June 2013). "Finali basket: perché Roma non vuole il PalaEUR" [Basketball finals: why doesn't Rome want the PalaEUR]. Panorama (in Italian). Retrieved 18 July 2015.
  12. ^ "Virtus Roma: accordo raggiunto, si torna al PalaLottomatica" [Virtus Roma: new agreement reached and will play at PalaLottomatica]. sportando.basketball (in Italian). 9 June 2018.

External links[edit]