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50 YEARS MEMORIES: CANTU
When Cantu dominated Europe
When it comes to European titles won, only Real Madrid has lifted more trophies than Pallacanestro Cantu, a back-to-back European Cup winner in 1982 and 1983. A generation of players featuring Pierluigi Marzorati, Carlo Recalcati, Antonio Farina, Mario Beretta or Bob Lienhard helped Cantu to rewrite European basketball history by winning three consecutive Korac Cup titles from 1973 to 1975. Marzorati, Recalcati and Lienhard got some help from Fabrizio Della Fiori and Renzo Tombolato, among others, to make Cantu one step higher. Cantu won three consecutive Saporta Cup titles from 1977 to 1979, becoming the only team to three-peat in two different European competitions. Cantu would add a fourth Saporta Cup title, downing FC Barcelona 86-82 behind 18 points from Tom Boswell and 15 from Antonello Riva and then lifting its third Italian League trophy. The best was yet to come, however, as Cantu would win its first European Cup title by topping Maccabi Elite Tel Aviv 86-80 in the title game in Cologne, Germany on March 25, 1982. Charles Kupec led the way for Cantu with 23 points, Bruce Flowers added 21 while Riva and Marzorati each had 18. Cantu would successfully defend its European Cup title by edging Billy Milano 69-68 in the title game in Grenoble on March 24, 1983. It all came down to the final second, in which Jim Brewer had a huge block on John Gianelli that allowed Cantu to win the game. Cantu would add a fourth Korac Cup title - its 10th European trophy - in 1991 by downing Real Madrid in a two-leg final behind an unstoppable Pace Mannion, who averaged 34 points in both games. Cantu has not added any other title in the last 16 years, but its legacy stays alive as one of the trademark teams in European club basketball history.
INTERVIEW: ANTONELLO RIVA
"It was like a normal game"
As one of the continent's all-time best scorers, Antonello Riva found European club basketball success early in his career, winning two European titles and three Saporta Cups by the age of 21, as a scoring protagonist.
"When you're young, you are not conscious of much, so you are care-free on the court. During the 1982 final, I didn't feel any particular emotions, it was like a normal game."