Club profile: Montepaschi Siena

Aug 02, 2013 by Print
Tomas Ress - Montepaschi Siena - EB12
Tomas Ress
2012-13 Results
Euroleague: Top 16
Italian League: Champion
Italian Cup: Champion -
Montepaschi SienaPerennial Italian champion Montepaschi Siena comes off an exciting season that ended with a historic accomplishment and enters a new season looking to extend its dominance and impressive streaks of six consecutive Top 16 appearances, seven Italian League and five Italian Cup titles. The 2012-13 season was another impressive one, in which the club won its fifth consecutive Italian double by beating Cimberio Varese in the cup final and downing Acea Roma 4-1 in the best-of-seven series for the league crown. With a 63-79 victory in Game 5 of the finals, Siena became the first team in the 64-year history of the Italian League to win the title seven years in a row. The results were not quite as strong in the Turkish Airlines Euroleague, where Montepaschi opened its Top 16 group with 5-0 record, but picked up only two more wins the rest of the way and missed the playoffs for only the second time in six seasons. This season the squad will be eager to taste the playoffs again and to battle for what would be Siena’s fifth Final Four appearance. Siena's basketball roots run deep; Mens Sana Basket claims to be the first Italian club to play the sport soon after Dr. James Naismith invented basketball in 1891. Siena did not reach the Italian first division until 1973 and graduated to European competitions in the late 1990s. By 2002, Vrbica Stefanov, Milenko Topic and Petar Naumoski brought home the club's very first trophy, the Saporta Cup. The next season, Siena marked its Euroleague debut by going all the way to the Final Four led by Michalis Kakiouzis, Mirsad Turkcan and the late Alphonso Ford. Montepaschi returned to the Final Four in 2004 and fell again in the semifinals, this time in a overtime thriller against Fortitudo Bologna, but with new players like Bootsy Thornton, David Vanterpool and David Andersen, it went on to lift its first Italian League trophy that spring. Following the promotion of Simone Pianigiani to head coach in 2007, things only got better for Siena. Pianigiani led the club to six Italian League titles in a row plus four Italian Cups during his run with the team. Montepaschi also returned to the Final Four in 2008 in Madrid, where it lost in the semifinals to Maccabi Electra, despite the efforts of players like Terrell McIntyre, Romain Sato, Rimas Kaukenas, Ksistof Lavrinovic and Shaun Stonerook. The latter trio was joined by Nikos Zisis, Marko Jaric, Malik Hairston and McCalebb for an unlikely run to the 2011 Final Four. Siena responded to a record 48-point loss to Olympiacos in Game 1 of the playoffs with three consecutive victories to reach the Final Four, in which eventual champ Panathinaikos blocked its way to glory in the semifinals. In 2011-12 season, its sixth consecutive Italian title, a feat never before accomplished in Italian basketball at that time, also marked an end of an era, as Pianigiani stepped down and his assistant Luca Banchi was handed the reins. In Banchi’s first season as the team's head coach, Bobby Brown claimed the Alphonso Ford Scoring Trophy as the team returned to the Top 16 and reigned supreme in Italy. This season, the goals remain as high as ever for the proud team form Tuscany.