Whilst watching the Efes Pilsen-Montepaschi Siena game with
horror fascination last night – probably somewhere around the Ferdinando Minucci ejection – BiE couldn’t help but wonder what Francesco Cappelletti, this website’s man in Italy, thought of it all.
Seriously. Montepaschi came into the game having looked strong in Euroleague competition this season thus far; with a good-enough win over Maccabi Tel Aviv to open the Euroleague Final 16 round and coming off a near-100 point win over Napoli in Serie A play, the visiting Italians entered the game a 3.5-point favorite.
So, to put it in a nutshell, what happened? Whither the outclassed play? And what does this say about Serie A ball, over which the suddenly visibly flawed MPS currently rules at 16-0. Managing to corner the busy Cappelletti for five minutes on chat, BiE asked a few simple questions.
BallinEurope: Okay, so basically, the question is this: What the fuck happened to MPS last night? i.e. What were the keys to their defeat, especially after that huge win the other day?
Francesco Cappelletti: So many reasons.
FC: Remember: Napoli is not a real team. It’s near to failure. It has only 17-year-old players. Anyway, physically Montepaschi is in a bad moment. Lavrinovic has back spasms and it’s evident Montepaschi doesn’t have a frontline to face Efes Pilsen. If the referees are like those three of last night – I mean referees who love contact and allow a physical game – Siena doesn’t have any chance at the highest level, because near the basket it’s ridiculous. And if T-Mc and the others don’t put the 3s in … in the paint Eze and Stonerook are not worthy of the Euroleague Top 16 offensively, even less so with Lavrinovic at 50%.
BiE: But MPS is 16-0 in Italy! How is that possible, given how bad they looked last night?
FC: MPS is 16-0 because the Italian League is going down and down. To imagine the state of Serie A, think about the money Toti invested on Roma and the youth program of Treviso – they’re out of Final Eight! And Caserta is in second place!
BiE: Yeah, i was looking at the standings. More than half the teams are 9-7, 8-8, or 7-9. Crazy.
For those interested in highlights from Siena’s deflating, not-nearly-that-close 88-78 loss to Efes Pilsen, video may be seen here. Not for the faint-hearted.