Three decades after the second of its two Euroleague trophy, Pallacanestro Cantu has completed its resurgence and returned to continental prominence. Cantu comes off back-to-back Turkish Airlines Euroleague appearances and came within a few points of a spot in last season’s Italian League finals. This year it’s back in the Eurocup and eager to impress. Cantu was a powerhouse in the 1970s and early 1980s as it racked up 10 trophies, including two Euroleague titles, in continental competition. To this day, only Real Madrid has more trophies in European competition. The club was founded between 1936 and 1937 as Associazione Pallacanestro Cantu by the initiative of two youngsters, Mario Broggi and Angiolino Polli. Coach Luigi Cicoria soon led the team to its first relevant title, the Mussolini Cup in 1942. After World War II, Cantu reappeared in the Italian third division in 1949, made the second division by 1953 and rose to the top Italian league the following year. Tom Burgess, Carlo Recalcati and Boris Stankovic gave the team its first-ever Italian League title in 1968. Pierluigi Marzorati arrived soon after that and Cantu became a top team outside the Italian borders. Marzorati and Recalcati led Cantu to three consecutive Korac Cup titles from 1973 to 1975. Cantu also beat Real Madrid for the Intercontinental Cup in 1975. Cantu then lifted three straight Saporta Cup titles from 1977 to 1979. Despite losing the 1980 Saporta final to Varese, Marzorati and Antonello Riva led Cantu to another Saporta Cup title in 1981 and the club added its third and last Italian League title that same year. In 1982 Cantu lifted its first European Cup trophy by downing Maccabi 86-80 in the final behind 25 points from CJ Kupec. Ford Cantu came back to defend the Euroleague title in 1983 by edging Milano 69-68 on a last-second blocked shot by Bruce Flowers. Cantu added another Korac Cup title in 1991 over Madrid in a two-game finals behind an unstoppable Pace Mannion. However the team fell into obscurity without Marzorati and Riva and even dropped to the Italian second division in 1994. The club bounced back to reach the Italian League semifinals in 2002 and has been competitive ever since. It won the Italian Supercup in 2003 and took part in the 2004-05 ULEB Cup. Cantu was the Italian League and Italian Cup runner-up in 2011; Montepaschi Siena denied it both titles. The next season Cantu returned to the Euroleague after a prolonged layoff and led by Coach Andrea Trinchieri plus clutch shots from Gianluca Basile rallied to reach the Top 16 and to fight for a playoff berth. Cantu also got back to the Italian Cup final, though Siena stood in its way again. Last season Cantu finally captured silverware via the Italian Supercup, but failed to win a Euroleague road game and was ousted at the end of the regular season. Now back in the Eurocup, Cantu is a reestablished force targeting wins in all competitions on every night.
Euroleague: 1982, 1983
Saporta Cup: 1977, 1978, 1979, 1981
Korac Cup: 1973, 1974, 1975, 1991
Italian National League: 1967-68, 1974-75, 1980-81
Italian SuperCup: 2003, 2012
Intercontinental Cup: 1975, 1982