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Pallacanestro Cantù

Pallacanestro Cantù
Pallacanestro Cantù logo
Leagues Serie A
FIBA Europe Cup
Founded 1936
History Associazione Pallacanestro Cantù
Opera Nazionale Dopolavoro Cantù
Pallacanestro Cantù
Arena Palasport Pianella
Arena Capacity 3,910 (Pianella)
8,000 (PalaDesio)
Location Cantù, Lombardy Italy
Team colors White, Blue, Sky Blue
President Anna Cremascoli
Championships 3 Italian championships
2 European Champions' Cups
4 European Cup Winners' Cups
4 Korać Cups
2 Intercontinental Cups
2 Italian Supercups
Home jersey
Team colours
Away jersey
Team colours

Pallacanestro Cantù, known for sponsorship reasons as Acqua Vitasnella Cantù (domestically) and FoxTown Cantù (in Europe), is an Italian professional basketball club based in Cantù, Lombardy. On the European scene, Cantù is second only to Real Madrid – against whom they have a 8-2 record - for trophies won with ten titles (two European Champions' Cups, four European Cup Winners' Cups and four Korać Cups),[1] in addition to three domestic Serie A championships, two Italian Supercups and two Intercontinental Cups.

It plays in the Serie A and the FIBA Europe Cup as of the 2015-16 season.


  • History 1
  • Arena 2
  • 2015–16 roster 3
    • Depth chart 3.1
  • Season by season 4
  • Honours 5
    • Domestic 5.1
    • European 5.2
    • Worldwide 5.3
  • Select international results 6
  • Notable players 7
  • Coaches 8
  • Sponsorship names 9
  • References 10
  • External links 11


The club was founded as Associazione Pallacanestro Cantù in 1936 with impetus from youngsters Mario Broggi and Angiolino Polli. At a time when basketball was an unknown sport, a nucleus composed of Broggi, Polli, Attilio Molteni, Peppino Borghi, Alberto Broggi, Vittorio Sgariboldi, Nene Marchi and Peppino Colombo started to play in the uncovered courtyard of the Sacramentine Sisters Institute. A name change in 1940 would see the club become Opera Nazionale Dopolavoro Cantù, winning their first major trophy in 1942 with the Bruno Mussolini Trophy after a Luigi Cicoria -coached squad downed Pallacanestro Varese and General Cantore Milano. The club reemerged after World War II as Pallacanestro Cantù, playing in the third division Serie C in 1949. It then reached the second division Serie B in 1953 and the first division Serie A in 1954, though they were relegated after one season. The Broggi brothers retired during this period, replaced on the court by Lino Cappelletti - the first Cantù player to make the Italian national team, Lietti, Ronchetti and Quarta whilst the squad was sponsored for the first time, by the distillery Milenka.[2][3]

Returning to the Serie A in 1956, the club was sponsored by Ettore Casella through his Oransoda brand, two years later he became the club's owner, nominating Aldo Allievi as president.[4] The arrival of American Tony Vlastelica allowed Cantù, now playing in a covered Parini arena, to finish fourth in 1957-58 and start challenging Virtus Bologna and Olimpia Milano. Over the summer, Casella transferred his Oransoda sponsorship to Virtus Bologna whilst using another of his brands, Fonte Levissima, for Cantù,[4] whilst a young Gianni Corsolini was named coach. On the court, Cappelletti retired but was replaced in 1962 by a young player from Milano, Carlo Recalcati. Recalcati, along with the “wall of Cantù” - composed of Bob Burgess (arrived from Real Madrid), Alberto De Simone and Alberto MerlatiAntonio Frigerio and Carlos D’Aquila formed the team - coached by Borislav Stanković - that would win the club's first ever Serie A title in 1967-68.[2][3]

The 1969 off-season saw Erminio Casella, who had replaced his father as owner at his death in 1967, leave the club, with Allievi stepping in to take his place. Arnaldo Taurisano was named coach and a future club legend arrived in Pierluigi Marzorati (who would stay fifteen years with the club). Though Varese and Milano had a hold on the Italian league during that period, a Forst-sponsored squad containing Marzorati, Recalcati, Antonio Farina, Ciccio Della Fiori and Renzo Tombolato captured three successive Korać Cups in 1973, 1974 and 1975, beating respectively Maes Pils Malines, Partizan Belgrade and FC Barcelona. The 1974-75 saw the club conquer its second scudetto (Serie A title) with players such as Marzorati, Della Fiori, Recalcati, Farina, Tombolato, Bob Lienhard, Franco Meneghe and Mario Beretta, who later the same year would add the Intercontinental Cup, downing Real Madrid on the way. Harthorne Wingo joined the squad in 1976 and led the club to another European title, the 1977 Cup Winner's Cup claimed against Radnički Belgrade, a title repeated the next year over Virtus Bologna, whilst John Neumann helped them achieve the triple in 1979 by beating Den Bosch.[2][3]

That form would continue into the 1980s, thanks to a squad coached by Fausto Bargna and Marzorati. The latter, along with Riva, were decisive in the Italian's fourth Cup Winner's Cup in 1981 with a 86-81 win over FC Barcelona, also helping them win their third scudetto that same year. Earning a place in the 1981-82 Champions Cup, having a rocky start as a grieving Bianchini didn't travel with the squad early in the season whilst Marzorati and Bariviera were injured, with the Italian champions losing 85-87 away to Maccabi Tel-Aviv after a basket by new signing C. J. Kupec was disallowed after having counted at first. They travelled to Belgrade needing to win, or lose by 15 or fewer points against Partizan to reach the final, which they managed as they lost 89-104 after Dražen Dalipagić scored 55 points. Again pitted against Maccabi in the final, Cantù brough 1,200 fans to Cologne on 25 May 1982, prevailing 86-8à thanks to 23 points from Kupec, 21 from Flowers, and 18 apiece for Marzorati and Riva. Though they conceded their league title to Bologna, they were allowed to defend their European title in the 1982-83 edition, where they faced a decisive game, overcoming CSKA Moscow 106-73 to reach the final against rivals Billy Milano. The game in Grenoble saw a close game go to the wire, with Jim Brewer blocking John Gianelli's last-second shot to see the team emerge 69-68 winners as fans swamped the court whilte Marzorati held the cup, the team's other American, Wallace Bryant, had 18 points as did Riva, with Brewer adding 14. The rest of the decade saw the club stay competitive but fail to add any titles despite counting American players like Dan Gay, Richard Anderson, Lorenzo Charles, Jeff Turner and Kent Benson, stalling in the league playoffs and losing the 1989 Korać Cup to Vlade Divac's Partizan.[2][3]

Riva had left for Milano in 1988 but Pace Mannion joined the club in his heed, he would be decisive in the conquest of the 1991 Korać Cup, scoring eight consecutive three-pointers to down Real Madrid, with Marzorati ending his career on yet another title. The 1993-94 season saw the club change coaches and foreign players but this could not prevent the team from getting relegated to the second division, ending a forty-year tenure in the first division, the Allievi family conceded the ownership to Franco Polti in its wake. It would return to the first division after two seasons, with coach Dado Lombardi and Thurl Bailey helping Cantù reach the Italian Cup final and an eighth place in the league on its return season. Francesco Corrado bought the club to enable its survival in 1999. During the course of the season, promising player Enrico Ravaglia died in a car crash, the team – with a returning Riva - regrouped on the court to stave off relegation that season. The 2000-01 season started badly, which led to the incumbent coach being replaced by long-time youth coach Stefano Sacripanti who guided the club to safety. He would do even better the next season, leading an American-centric group of Jerry McCullough, Bootsy Thornton, Sam Hines, Shaun Stonerook, Todd Lindeman and Ryan Hoover to a fourth place in the league, enough to qualify fro the Euroleague (though Corrado decided to renounce participating for financial reasons).[2][3]

The 2002-03 season saw the club again reach the Italian Cup final, though it would concede the title to Benetton Treviso. It would avenage its loss by beating Treviso in their own arena in the 2003 Italian Supercup. Reaching the league playoffs on a number of occasions, Cantù also returned to Europe, participating in the 2004–05 ULEB Cup and the 2005–06 FIBA EuroCup. The club celebrated its 70th anniversary during the 2006–2007 season, as part of the commemoration, a 54 yearl old Marzorati played 1:48m during an October 2006 game, beating records as the oldest ever professional basketball player and the only player to have played for the same club in five different decades.[5] When Corrado left the club to become president of Lega Basket, his son Alessandro became the eighth president in team history, another change saw Sacripanti leave for Pesaro and be replaced by Luca Dalmonte. During the 2008 summer, Cantù was brought by the NGC group led by Eugenio Cremascoli along with his children Paolo and Anna, though Corrado remained president. Dalmonte left in 2009 and was replaced by young coach Andrea Trinchieri, who took the club to the Italian Cup Final Eight and the fourth place in the league, before reaching the playoff semifinals where they lost to holders Montepaschi Siena, earning a place in the next year's Eurocup. The next season, Trinchieri led a squad with long-time players such as captain Nicolas Mazzarino, Manuchar Markoishvili, Maarty Leunen and Vladimir Micov to first the Italian Cup final and then the league final, that they would lose to perennial champions Siena. Meanwhile, Anna Cremascoli became the club's president in September 2011, the first woman ever to hold the position at a Serie A club (she would be joined by other part-owners in 2014, including the team's fans with a 10% share, though she remained president and majority owner). Having earned a place in the 2011–12 Euroleague, the Italians reached the Top 16 thanks to a buzzer beater from Gianluca Basile against Gescrap Bizkaia. Placed in a tough Group H with Maccabi Tel Aviv and FC Barcelona, they tied Tel Aviv for second but exited on points scored, having the penultimate game to Barcelona by a single point as Basile could not repeat his earlier exploit.[1] Meanwhile, they played in the Supercup and Italian Cup finals but lost both to Siena, whilst in the league they were defeated in the quarter-finals by Scavolini Pesaro.[3]

The 2012 summer saw main sponsor Bennet leave, to be replaced by Mapooro, a brand from the NGC group, whilst the squad saw wholesale changes with Basile leaving and eight new players coming in. Mapooro Cantù beat Siena to win the Supercup, then triumphed in the qualifying rounds (organised at “home” in the PalaDesio) to reach the Euroleague regular season.[1] Though they beat Real Madrid and Fenerbahçe they exited at the group stage after losing to the Turks in Istanbul, where Manuchar Markoishvili went mid-season by transferring to Galatasaray. The now Lenovo-sponsored team came back from a shaky start to crack the league playoffs, where – thanks to the arrival of Joe Ragland – they reached the semifinals, losing the seven game series against Acea Roma in the last game. Trinchieri left the club over the summer and was replaced by Sacripanti, whilst Daniele Della Fiori replaced Bruno Arrigoni as general manager and Acqua Vitasnella became main sponsor. A solid season saw the side reach the Italian Cup Final 8, the Eurocup Last 32 and the league playoffs, remaining unbeaten at home during all of the latter's regular season, though they lost their quarter-finals series against Roma. Known as FoxTown Cantù in Europe, the team went to the Eurocup Round of 16 before exiting at the hands of UNICS Kazan. Domestically, they again reached the playoffs, with help from NBA All-Star Metta World Peace who joined the club in March, but were undone in the last game of the quarter-final series against Reyer Venezia.[3]


Cantù started playing in the uncovered courtyard of the Sacramentine Sisters Institute (having to remove snow when playing) before moving to another outside court on Piazza Parini. A covered arena, the PalaParini was erected on the sport in 1956 (when the Italian Basketball Federation disallowed the use of outside courts), they would stay there until moving to the newly built Palasport Pianella for the 1974-75 season.[3]

When they qualified for the Euroleague in 2011, they had to move to the PalaDesio for their games, 15km away in Desio, as the Pianella did not meet Euroleague standards.[1] The PalaDesio itself underwent a €130,000 refurbishment over the summer, with changes to the court, electrical installations and outside area that made it fall in line with the aforementioned standards.[6] They would also play their European games in Desio the next season, in addition to a number of domestic games over the next seasons (one game during in 2010-11, four more the next season,[7] then two local derbies against Vanoli Cremona and Milano in 2014-15).[8]

The arena situation has driven a wedge between the club management and the local authorities as a promised new venue to replace the obsolete Pianella (which costs around €400,000 in upkeep, ten times more than most Serie A arenas) not yet coming to fruition, whilst renting the PalaDesio full-time would prove too costly.[9]

2015–16 roster

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

Depth chart

Pos. Starter Bench Bench Reserve
C Jared Berggren Amedeo Tessitori Curtis Nwohuocha
PF LaQuinton Ross Jakub Wojciechowski
SF Awudu Abass
SG Brady Heslip Kenny Hasbrouck Luca Cesana
PG Langston Hall Marco Laganà Ruben Zugno

Season by season

Season Tier League Pos. Postseason Italian Cup European competitions
2009–10 1 Serie A 4 Quarterfinalist
2010–11 1 Serie A 2 Finalist Finalist 2 Eurocup
2011–12 1 Serie A 3 Quarterfinalist Finalist 1 Euroleague
2012–13 1 Serie A 7 Semifinalist 1 Euroleague
2013–14 1 Serie A 3 Quarterfinalist Quarterfinalist 2 Eurocup
2014–15 1 Serie A 7 Quarterfinalist 2 Eurocup


Total titles: 17

Select international results

Notable players


Sponsorship names

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

  • Milenka Cantù (1954–55)
  • Oransoda Cantù (1956–58)
  • Fonte Levissima Cantù (1958–65)
  • Oransoda Cantù (1965–69)
  • Pallacanestro Cantù (1969–70)
  • Forst Cantù (1970–77)
  • Gabetti Cantù (1977–80)
  • Squibb Cantù (1980–82)
  • Ford Cantù (1982–83)
  • Jollycolombani Cantù (1983–85)
  • Arexons Cantù (1985–87)
  • Vismara Cantù (1987–90)
  • Shampoo Clear Cantù (1990–94)
  • Polti Cantù (1994–99)
  • Canturina Cantù (1999–2000)
  • Poliform Cantù (2000–01)
  • Oregon Scientific Cantù (2001–04)
  • Vertical Vision Cantù (2004–06)
  • Tisettanta Cantù (2006–08)
  • NGC Cantù (2008–09)
  • NGC Medical Cantù (2009–10)
  • Bennet Cantù (2010–12)
  • Chebolletta Cantù [Domestically] (2012)
  • Mapooro Cantù [European competitions] (2012)
  • Lenovo Cantù [Domestically] (2013)
  • Acqua Vitasnella Cantù [Domestically] (2013–present)
  • FoxTown Cantù [European competitions] (2013–present)


  1. ^ a b c d Lawlor, Frank (6 December 2012). "'Everyone knows what we are talking about'".  
  2. ^ a b c d e Gancedo, Javier (12 September 2004). "The Club Scene: Pallacanestro Cantu".  
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h "Storia" [History]. (in Italian). Retrieved 15 September 2015. 
  4. ^ a b "Il basket italiano piange la scomparsa di Aldo Allievi, storico presidente di Cantù" [Italian basketball mourns the death of Aldo Allievi, Cantù's historic president].  
  5. ^ "Marzorati in campo batte 2 record" [Marzorati beats two records on the court].  
  6. ^ "Benevenuta Eurolega! Bienvenue Nancy! Stasera al PalaDesio la partita di esordio" [Welcome Euroleague! Bienvenue Nancy! Tonight at the PalaDesio the game that starts [the season]]. Comune.Desio. 
  7. ^ Piccinelli, Andrea (22 August 2012). "Insieme per Cantù, al via la campagna abbonamenti" [Together for Cantù, the season ticket campaign is launched]. (in Italian). Retrieved 15 September 2015. 
  8. ^ "Cantù trasloca: è la febbre-World Peace" [Cantù moves: it's the World Peace-fever].  
  9. ^ Landrini, Fabio (10 August 2013). " [Cantù, the nightmarish second Palababele. Cremascoli's ultimatum: "Without an arena no team"]""Cantù, incubo Palababele due L’ultimatum dei Cremascoli: "Senza palazzetto niente squadra.  

External links

  • Serie A profile (Italian) Retrieved 15 September 2015
  • FIBA Europe profile Retrieved 15 September 2015
  • profile
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