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Stellazzura Academy is the EYBL Champion!!! The U16 men's team wins the Superfinal in Tallinn

Pubblicato il Mercoledì 4 Maggio 2016 - EYBL / EGBL

 U16 Stellazzurra Basketball Academy men’s team is the winner of the 2015/16 EYBL. The team led by Lorenzo Gandolfi concluded the European Youth Basketball League as winners of the Superfinal in Tallinn, winning the final last Sunday May 1 against the Lithuanian side Visi Kartu Vilnius by 77-70.


The blackstarry club has only competed in this competition for two years and already managed to achieve a gold medal. The journey began in November, as well as for all the other 15 participating teams, with the three stages of regular season taking place in St Petersburg, Russia, and the two Polish cities Sopot and Przemysl. Stellazzurra were ranked 6th in the general table at the end of the regular season which allowed them to qualify for the Superfinal in Tallinn, Estonia. In the “Final Ten”, with a type of tennis elimination, they competed against the ten best teams in the European tournament. While U16 Stellazzurra was being crowned champions, the U20 team took home 3rd place in their tournament.


In Tallinn, the Stellazzurra team slowly improved with each game they played as the opponents’ difficulty level increased and as a result were able to win all 4 games. Friday was successful for Ianelli and his teammates as they beat MuKi Helsinki, a team that dominated the Central-European EYBL, by 82-69, and that afternoon the Lithuanian side BS Birziai by 71-64 in the quarterfinals. Entering the “Fab Four” Stellazzurra had to face DSN Riga and Visi Kartu Vilnius who had beaten them in regular season and were ranked 1st and 2nd in the general table, for this reason these two teams were allowed to enter the final stage of the competition starting from the semi-finals. Stellazzurra faced the Latvian team DSN Riga in the semi final and won 83-62, which meant they were through to the final against Visi Kartu Vilnius scheduled to take place the following day.


Against an opponent that mainly consists of the U16 Lithuanian National team, Stellazzurra started the game well by scoring 26 points and being +7 at the end of the first quarter. Half time ended with a comeback from the Lithuanian side making it (41-42). Stellazzurra came back on court determined to beat Visi Kartu Vilnius and ended the third quarter ahead 62-59. An exciting last quarter saw Mattia Palumbo score 2/2 three pointers in a row with 2’ on the clock, which meant Stellazzurra would take first place on the podium.


Stellazzurra also received individual awards, which include: Mattia Palumbo (in the pic, the first one from the left) winning MVP for the final game with 27 points (9/15 2pt-FG, 2/5 3p-FG, 3/3 FT) and 8 rebounds, Paul Eboua won MVP of the whole Superfinal tournament and head coach Gandolfi received the nomination for EYBL Best Coach. Palumbo and Eboua also voted for the All-Tournament First Team (in the pic below). In the final against the Lithuanian team these players scored in double figures, Lorenzo Incitti 15 points in 13’ (3/4 2pt-FG, 3/5 3p-FG) and Saverio Bartoli 14+6 rebounds. The Stellazzurra team reacted well to a less productive Djordje Pazin, top scorer in the previous three games with an average of 21.0 points+9.0 rebounds against MuKi, Birziai and DSN, while in the final just scoring 4 points. However, the 2001-born Serbian point-guard still received the title as Stellazzurra top scorer for the EYBL season, finishing with an average of 13.2 points, ranked 12th in the whole competition.


By winning the EYBL, Stellazzurra Academy wants to thank the two clubs, Basket Bassano and ScuBa Frosinone, who reinforced the team with a few players during all the stages of its International journey. Also, a thank you goes to our two sponsors, Orange1 Group and Mollificio Bordignon, which economically contributed to the team making it possible for the players to travel and compete in all the stages of the tournament.


Following are the fixtures and results for the games played by Stellazzurra Academy at the Superfinal, chronologically from the final to the final eight, as well as the final standing.


FINAL 1st-2nd


STELLAZZURRA: Bargnesi 2, Fracassa, Incitti 15, Bartoli 14, Pazin 4, Ianelli 4, Palumbo 27, Harrison Ole 2, Eboua 9, Rinaldi. Coach: Gandolfi; Assistant: Mattioli.

VILNIUS: Nasvytis 3, Rutkauskas 7, Adomavicius 18, Balciunas 3, Giedraitis 9, Jurevicius, Naimovicius 8, Norkus 3, Raudonius 6. N.e.: Turlajus, Vachninas.



STELLAZZURRA ACADEMY – DSN RIGA 83-62 (29-16, 49-27, 69-43)

STELLAZZURRA: Bargnesi 2, Fracassa 3, Incitti 8, Bartoli 11, Pazin 15, Ianelli 6, Palumbo 14, Harrison Ole 13, Eboua 4, Rinaldi. Coach: Gandolfi; Assistant: Mattioli.

RIGA: Gertners 2, Krumins 3, Berzins 12, Greitans, Antorns, Ratseps 8, Zagars 11, Zvagulis 7, Hermanis, Salenieks 19.



STELLAZZURRA ACADEMY – BS BIRZIAI 71-64 (15-18, 35-35, 55-50)

STELLAZZURRA: Bargnesi 4, Fracassa, Incitti 6, Bartoli, Pazin 26, Ianelli 9, Palumbo 7, Harrison Ole 7, Eboua 10, Rinaldi 2. Coach: Gandolfi; Assistant: Mattioli.

BIRZIAI: Budriunas 11, Valunta 12, Nikitinas 2, Venskus 21, Zukauskas 9, Simonavicius 2, Jonaitis 7. N.e.: Gailius.



STELLAZZURRA ACADEMY – MUKI HELSINKI 82-69 (29-27, 48-39, 57-55)

STELLAZZURRA: Bargnesi 9, Fracassa, Incitti, Bartoli 14, Pazin 22, Ianelli 6, Palumbo 17, Harrison Ole 1, Eboua 8, Rinaldi 5. Coach: Gandolfi; Assistant: Mattioli.

HELSINKI: Uotila, Rautasalo 16, Tahvanainen 17, Avist 14, Oksa 10, Makarov 2, Timonen 10, Kortemaa. N.e.: Fajardo, Saranen, Laaksonen, Makkonen.






2 – Visi Kartu Vilnius (LTU)

3 – DSN Riga (LTV)

4 – Valmieras (LTV)

5 – BS Birziai (LTU)

6 – Trefl Sopot (POL)

7 – Tallinn Kalev (EST)

8 – VBL Bruxelles (BEL)

9 – Szolnoki Olaj (HUN)

10 – MuKi Helsinki (FIN)