EuroLeague Final 1982: The profession of the Cantú makes him champion

por Roberto Anidos publicado en 1982 Cantú Decade 80 EuroLeague Maccabi Tel Aviv

In the first phase of Group A, Maccabi Elite gave their rivals no choice and finished undefeated to qualify for the group stage for the title. The second classified Pojat Helsinki with (3-3) was far from disturbing to the Hebrews

4. SATURN KOLN (1-5)

In Group B, Cantu also found no opposition from their rivals to finish unbeaten at the top and move on to the next round.

1. CANTU (4-0)
2. WIEN (2-2)
3. PARTIZANI (0-4)

In Group C the situation was also very clear and Partizan also finished undefeated against Prague and Turkish Eczacibi.

1. SPLIT (4-0)
3. ECZACIBI (1-3)

In Group D, another year, Den Bosch do not give rise to any surprises and do not lose their date with the group of champions. The Oostende tried to give the answer but the Dutch as in previous groups ended up leading undefeated, leaving no choice to their rivals.

1. DEN BOSCH (6-0)
2. OOSTENDE (4-2)
4. AMICALE (0-6)

In group E Barcelona had to fight until the end with Villeurbanne to get into the group. Finally the average decided the Catalan classification at the end.

1. BARCELONA (5-1)
3. HONVED (1-5)
4. MURRAY (1-5)

In group F the Greek Panathinaikos repeat their appointment in the group leader’s league. It was not easy for them because CSKA Moscow fought until the end for the desired place. Here, too, the average was decisive.

2. CSKA MOSCU (3-1)
3. LEVSKI (0-4)

The Maccabi was the dominant team of the group with only one defeat, the Hebrews qualify for their third consecutive final. For the final place Partizan and Cantu had their particular duel that finally opted for the Italian side. The Barcelona with a (5-5) balance never had serious options to be in the final.

2. CANTU (7-3)
3. PARTIZAN (6-4)
4. BARCELONA (5-5)
5. DEN BOSCH (2-8)

The match in Cologne’s Sporthalle between the continent’s two strongest teams had all the ingredients of a European Cup final. In the stands there were nearly five thousand Israeli fans who never stopped cheering for their team, and quite a few less Italians who, however, also made themselves heard. Squibb and Macabbi knew each other perfectly, and both Bianchini and Klein were aware that their rivals had two or three high quality players on whom their teams depended for their play, so they both came up with an ultradefensive scheme to try and stop them. But while the Italians achieved their goal, the Maccabees were powerless to stop an inspired Marzorati and, above all, a tireless Flowers, who not only diluted in mediocrity Earl Williams but got tired of capturing rebounds on both boards and scoring in the face of the disorganization of the Israeli defense. In the end, it was a deserved victory for the team from Cantú, who thus became the first to win all three European titles (European Cup, European Cup Winners’ Cup and Korać).

The Italians seemed to always find the best way to the basket, while Maccabi could never overcome the individual defence of their rivals. Berkowitz suffered from Riva’s overwhelming marking, Perry was forced to throw a basket from outside the area and Williams could not at any time with Flowers’ inner play. In the Italian team Pierluigi Marzorati stood out, who directed his team in master plan and always had on the point a penetration or an outside shot.

So, Squibb was able to develop his usual schemes of play: physical wear, a slow pace, controlled and machacón and a great game as a whole. Maccabi, for his part, lost the roles very soon and resorted to their individualities, which on this occasion failed: neither Aroesti could lead his team properly, nor Berkowitz was the usual lethal pitcher, neither Williams nor Perry played comfortably. Only Silver maintained his usual tone, but ended up losing out on his team’s individual game as well. They were two totally different concepts of basketball: the machinal game of the Italians against the Israeli inspiration; what happened was that the machine resisted and the inspiration did not have its day.

It was clear that, between two teams with a great offensive capacity, the victory would fall on the side of the successful defensive strategy. In this respect, Italian teams are true masters. The Cantú side used a man-assigned defence throughout the match, while Maccabi had to move from an individual to a 2-1-2 zone in the second half due to a build-up of personnel. This defensive change seemed to work for Klein, as he managed to cut the score from a maximum of ten points (65-55) to just two (69-67). However, Kupec, Marzorati and Flowers would be responsible for a new escape, to place a clear 79-71 four minutes from the end that would be final for the fate of the game.

The match began with individual markings in both sets: Marzorati-Aroesti, Riva-Berkowitz, Innocentin-Silver, Kupec-Perry, Flowers-Williams. Despite an initial Italian lead (4-0), Maccabi soon took the initiative on the scoreboard thanks to his rebound dominance and Berkowitz’s outside throws (6-12, min. 4). That was the moment when Pierluigi Marzorati’s figure emerged in the Squibb. The Italian base began to show his usual repertoire of play, with a great direction, penetrations and passes, from which benefited his teammates (in particular a lethal Kupec in the shot and a Flowers who overcame his weak start of the game). The match entered a phase of equality during the last half of the first half, although a final set of the Italian team allowed him to reach the break with a slight advantage (44-39).

After the restart, the match continued in the same vein of equality (Maccabi even managed to get back in front after two and a half minutes, 46-47), until a scoring streak from Riva, coupled with Flowers’ total dominance in the inner game, made the Squibbse take off again (65-55, min. 28). Klein then ordered a switch to a pressing zonal defence and, taking advantage of a downturn in Marzorati’s play, Maccabi managed to move within two points (69-67, min. 33). However, the defensive wear and the precipitation of the macabeo team allowed the Italians to control the game until the end and ensure victory from the line of free throws. The Maccabi burned his last cartridge when it was only three points (81-78) to lack of 1’20» and then Silver missed a shot that could have meant 81-80 with 40 seconds left, and in the fight for the rebound Williams committed his fifth personal foul.


NGC Bennet Cantu

*Marzorati – 18p, 3r.
*Riva – 16p, 5r.
*Innocentin – 6p, 2r.
*Kupec – 23p, 7r.
*Flowers – 21p, 10r.
Bargna – 0p, 1r.
Cattini – 2p, 3r.

Maccabi Electra

*Aroesti – 4p, 4a.
*Berkowitz – 16p, 2r.
*Silver – 16p, 6r.
*Perry – 15p, 8r.
*Williams – 15p, 9r.
Zimmerman – 14p, 6r.
Lassof – 0p, 1r.
Keren – 0p.