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Basketball, Italy’s squad in X-ray for the matches against Iceland. Della Valle and Mannion are seen again in blue, Imbrò and Toté the news


The sixteen Azzurri called by the coach Romeo Sacchetti for the second window dedicated to the FIBA ​​World Cup 2023 Qualifiers gathered today in Bologna. Italy is expected to have a double challenge with Iceland, which will be played on Thursday evening away to Reykjavik (start of the match at 21:00 Italian time, 20:00 local time) and then on Sunday evening at the PalaDozza in Bologna ( duo ball at 20:30 ). Let’s get to know better the magnificent sixteen called by the blue coach for these two challenges against the Nordic national team.

Amedeo Della Valle is certainly one of the pleasant re-entries in the squad. The native guard from Alba (Cuneo), formerly Reggiana and Olimpia Milano, is dragging Germani Brescia into the Championship thanks to the 19.4 points scored so far that propel him to the top of the top scorers. The Technical Commissioner will certainly be able to exploit the potential of the 1993 class, with the last presentation in the national team which dates back to a year ago (window for qualifying for this year’s European Championships).

Niccolò Mannion returns to Azzurro after having skipped the November window despite being called up by Sacchetti. The young point guard former Golden State Warriors is trying to slowly regain the condition, after missing the first part of the season due to an intestinal infection. Mannion averages 8 points in the Championship, with the season-high reached in the late October match against Tortona (15 points). On the other hand, there are 4.4 assists distributed on average by Red Mamba , to whom the coach will entrust the keys to the game even in times of difficulty, alternating with the equal-roles Pajola, Spagnolo and Flaccadori.

Basketball, 2023 World Cup Qualifiers: Italy-Iceland double challenge. Program, schedules, TV, streaming

Paul Biligha returns to wear the blue tank top more than two years after his last appearance: the center in force at Olimpia Milano (formerly Reyer Venezia) was part of the expedition that defended the Italian flag at the World Cup in China in 2019, ending Italy’s last match against Puerto Rico with 10 points. 200 centimeters and an excellent technique under the basket for the 1990 class, who always responds when called into question: Sacchetti trusts in his body to keep a good watch on the iron, collecting rebounds even in attack.

Stefano Tonut manages to join the working group only in these hours, as the Reyer Venezia wing tested positive for COVID a few days ago (only to be negativized yesterday). Alberto’s son is one of the veterans of this national team, a veteran of the Olympic adventure like Mannion, Tessitori, Michele Vitali and Pajola. Tonut is back from his carter-high , with 32 points scored in the internal defeat of the lagoons against Varese last day (82-93). 14.8 points, 3.5 rebounds and 3.1 assists on average for the 1992 class, who can always be ready and turn on at any time. Proof of this are the 13 points scored against the Netherlands (75-73) in the last match played for the 2023 World Cup qualifiers, putting the team on his shoulders in the moment of greatest difficulty for the Azzurri.

Diego Flaccadori is reconfirmed by CT Sacchetti after having been part of the group that played the first qualifying window for the 2023 World Cup in November 2021. A handful of points in the matches against Russia (5 points) and Holland (6 points) for the play class 1996 ex Bayern Munich returned to Dolomiti Energia Trentino this summer, where he averages 14.8 points per game with 3.3 assists per game. The native player from Seriate (Bergamo) will alternate with the other playmakers available to the Italian coach, namely Mannion, Pajola and Spanish.

Amedeo Vittorio Tessitori is now a permanent presence on the Meo Sacchetti roster . The center of Virtus Bologna, in fact, has been called up on time since in 2019 he was almost surprisingly included in the group that disputed the Chinese World Cup (considering that at the time he was playing in A2 in Treviso). ‘Tex’ was then part of the triumphal expedition of Belgrade of the Pre-Olympic tournament last summer, and was then confirmed among the twelve who flew to Tokyo for the Olympic Games. 208 centimeters of pure physique for the 1994 Tuscan class, who averages 4.8 points and 3.5 rebounds per season with the black Vs. Tessitori will have the task of countering the Icelandic giants under the basket, trying to harpoon balls to then distribute to his teammates.

Matteo Spanish has received the call-up to the national team after the excellent seasonal performance he has been maintaining in recent months. The young play from Brindisi, who grew up in the Stella Azzurra in Rome and in the youth teams of Real Madrid, leads the Vanoli Cremona from the control room (in collaboration with the other rising star, Andrea Pecchia) to an average of 12.1 points with 2.6 assists and 3.4 rebounds. The 2003 class is therefore an all-round modern play, able to set the game but at the same time to assert the body in defense with its 194 cm and 88 kilos. On the other hand, nine tokens have been collected in the national team.

Raphael Gaspardo finds the blue for the second consecutive window for the qualifiers for the 2023 World Cup, after having been part of the group that faced Russia and the Netherlands in November 2021. For the Brindisi winger there are eleven appearances in the national team, after having made the whole process of the youth teams. 10.1 points scored in 17 games for the 1993 born in Bressanone (Bolzano), often used by coach Vitucci to attack the weak side but defend under the iron, thanks to the 207 centimeters in height.

Mattia Udom made his national team debut against Holland in the match he won at the Assago Forum in November 2021 for the FIBA ​​World Cup 2021 Qualifiers (75-73). The winger born in 1993, who plays with Gaspardo at the Happy Casa Brindisi, closed that match with 5 points on the scoresheet in 21 ‘on the parquet. On the other hand, the Sicilian player scored 5.6 points on average, who with his 200 centimeters can play easily on both sides of the field both in defense and in attack.

Matteo Imbrò is one of the novelties of the group summoned by CT Sacchetti. The young play from Treviso, in fact, only played the Trentino Cup in a friendly match in 2016 (without scoring even a point). At the youth level, however, the player born in 1992 won Gold at the 2013 Under 20 European Championships in Estonia (in the same national team his teammates were Stefano Tonut and Amedeo Della Valle – who he finds in this window – as well as Michele Ruzzied and Awudu Abass). 10.3 points per game for the player originally from Agrigento, who from this year has the ranks of Captain in the Treviso team.

Michele Vitali (1991, 196, G / A, Umana Reyer Venezia) is, as always, one of the drivers of this national team. Luca’s brother – who got married at GeVi Napoli – took the team on his shoulders in the final seconds of the match against the Orange at the Forum, placing the decisive plays that allowed the Azzurri to win a match that had become very complicated in the final actions. The Reyer Venezia guard was part of the Five Circles expedition, also distinguishing himself in the Pre-Olympic tournament in Belgrade which gave the Azzurri the pass for the Olympic event . In the national team, the career-high of the gold-grenade player is 24 points, scored against Estonia in the match played in February 2021. 7.1 average points and a 72.1% two for the player born in 1991, who always enjoys the confidence of the coach, especially when the ball is hot: Michele always knows how to put all his determination into it, fighting for every possession.

Leonardo Totè is looking for his first presence in the Senior National Team. The center of Fortitudo Bologna, in fact, was already summoned by the coach Sacchetti, only to be unable to take the field due to injuries or a technical choice. With the blue jersey the 1997 class has 28 appearances at the youth level (Under 17, Under 18 and Under 20), also distinguishing himself as a 3 × 3 player by winning a Silver Medal at the 2018 Mediterranean Games held in Tarragona (Spain) . 9.7 points per game and 4.3 rebounds per game for this 211 centimeter left-handed young man, who manages to assert himself in defense but does not mind the conclusion from several positions.

Davide Alviti is one of the regular appearances in the national team of coach Sacchetti during the windows dedicated to the qualifications for European and World Cups. The player who now plays in Olimpia Milano – released by Ettore Messina for his commitments in Azzurro, despite the fresh Milanese from the Coppa Italia are equally committed to the trip to Athens against olympiakos – has collected six appearances with the tricolor jersey, scoring 8 points on two occasions (against Estonia and Macedonia in the matches played in February 2021).

Nicola Akele , like his teammate Alviti, is often called up by the CT for FIBA ​​windows (together with the VTG Supercup of Hamburg). The winger who plays at Nutribullet Treviso stood out in the last match played by the Azzurri at the Forum against the Netherlands, scoring 18 points in almost 27 ‘on the court (with a decent 5/8 from two). 7.1 average points and 4.7 rebounds for the young man of 203 centimeters and born in 1993, who will certainly be used by Sacchetti in the rotations with the peers.

Gabriele Procida finds the national team some time after his last appearance, after making his debut in the 2022 European Qualifiers played in February last year (where he scored 10 points in the defeat against Macedonia). The 2002 class, who plays at Fortitudo Bologna, averages 6.9 points in Serie A. On the other hand, 2.9 rebounds are captured per game by the young man of 201 centimeters, who asserts his centimeters under the iron but also takes initiative when needed. resulting effective from any position (in the painted or from a long distance).

Alessandro Pajola makes up the group that defended the Italian flag during the Tokyo Olympics, which also included Tonut, Michele Vitali, Mannion and Tessitori. The young playmaker of Virtus Bologna, who grew up under the teaching of a champion like Milos Teodosic, continues to be one of our best talents. The Ancona native is 22 years old but the room for growth is still wide, with Pajola scoring 5.8 points per game in Serie A and distributing 4.6 assists. He will be the one to lead the blue game in the two matches against Iceland, being then alternated with the other young point guards such as Spaniard, teammate Mannion and Flaccadori.

Credit: Ciamillo