Club Profile: Virtus Segafredo Bologna

Aug 28, 2020 by Print
Club Profile: Virtus Segafredo Bologna

Virtus Segafredo Bologna will make it two seasons in a row in the 7DAYS EuroCup. Expectations are high in Bologna after a strong campaign in 2019-20, which marked the club's return to the competition for the first time since 2003-04. Virtus started the season with a convincing road win over ratiopharm Ulm and followed that with home victories over Maccabi Rishon LeZion and MoraBanc Andorra. It dropped its first game of the season in Round 4 against Promitheas Patras, but rebounded to beat AS Monaco and Ulm at home by a combined 3 points after coming back from 10- and 9-point fourth-quarter deficits, respectively. Virtus dropped another road game - at Andorra - before finishing the regular season with wins at home over Promitheas and at Monaco for an 8-2 record and first place in Group A. Virtus was dominated in Round 1 of the Top 16 when it lost by 18 points at Partizan NIS Belgrade. The team bounced back to ease past Darussafaka Tekfen Istanbul at home and then held off Dolomiti Energia Trento on the road. A 24-point home over Trento improved its record to 3-1. Virtus once again lost to Partizan - wasting a 15-point second-half lead in an 82-84 home defeat - and finished the Top 16 with a victory at Darussafaka for a 4-2 mark and a date with AS Monaco in the quarterfinals, which were subsequently canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Domestically, Virtus was the top seed in the Italian Cup, but was bounced in the quarterfinals 82-81 by Umana Reyer Venice. Virtus opened the Italian League with 10 straight wins before losing at Cremona and its only other loss the rest of the season came at Sassari for an 18-2 record and first place when the Italian League stopped play because of the pandemic. Virtus comes into the EuroCup season aiming to lift the trophy.


2019-20 EuroCup 12-4 Quarterfinals (canceled)
2003-04 ULEB Cup 3-7 Regular Season

TOTAL: 26 15-11

Among the clubs with a great past looking for a brilliant future, Virtus Bologna is as strong as they come. Virtus began as a gymnastics club in 1879, formed its first professional basketball teams in the late 1920s and proceeded to consistently win championships for more than half a century. Virtus so enjoyed its first Italian title in 1945 that it added three more in a row for good measure. Virtus returned to the top in Italy in 1955 and 1956, but that preceded a 20-year drought. Since then, however, the trophies have been lifted consistently, starting with four Italian League crowns between 1976 and 1984, the last coming with an Italian Cup victory for the club's first double. The second double came six years later, with an Italian Cup and the first mark made by Virtus on the European stage, the 1990 Saporta Cup; Virtus beat Real Madrid 79-74 in the championship game behind an outstanding Michael Ray Richardson. The 1993 Italian League crown, the club's first in almost a decade, soon became a three-peat. A shining moment came in 1998 when Virtus won its first EuroLeague crown and doubled up with another Italian League title. Predrag Danilovic, Zoran Savic and Antoine Rigaudeau led Virtus to that EuroLeague title. Things got even better in 2001 as Virtus ruled wherever it played, claiming the EuroLeague, the Italian League and the Italian Cup titles, a first-ever trophy crown with one of the best rosters ever in European basketball featuring Marko Jaric, Manu Ginobili, Rigaudeau, Matjaz Smodis and Rashad Griffith. Virtus made it four trophies in a row by winning the 2002 Italian Cup, but lost in the EuroLeague final and the Italian League playoff semifinals that season. Virtus suffered financial troubles afterward and had to merge with FuturVirtus Castelmaggiore in the Italian second division to avoid disappearing. Virtus return to the Italian top level the year after and, backed by thousands of diehard fans, made it to the Italian League playoffs in the 2006-07 season after a five-year absence. Virtus knocked off Biella and Lottomatica Roma before losing the title series against an unstoppable Montepaschi Siena. That season, the club also made it to the FIBA EuroCup Final Four. Virtus returned to the EuroLeague in the 2007-08 season and lost four consecutive Italian Cup finals from 2007 to 2010. The club lifted the EuroChallenge trophy in 2009 after defeating Cholet Basket 75-77 thanks to 21 points from Keith Langford. After several transition years, Virtus went down to the Italian second division in 2016, but returned to the top tier a year later and won the Basketball Champions League title in 2019 by defeating Iberostar Tenerife in the final. Coming back to the EuroCup for the first time since 2003-04, Virtus went 8-2 in the regular season and then put together a 4-2 mark in the Top 16 to reach the quarterfinals, which were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The outbreak also cost Virtus a chance to win its first Italian League crown since 2000-01 as it was leading the standings with an 18-2 record when the season was called. The “Black V” will be ready to make history in 2020-21.

Trophy Case

Euroleague: (2) 1998, 2001
Cup of Cups: 1990
Champions League: 2019
Eurochallenge: 2009
Italian National League: (15) 1946, 1947, 1948, 1949, 1955, 1956, 1976, 1979, 1980, 1984, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1998, 2001
Italian National Cup: (8) 1974, 1984, 1989, 1990, 1997, 1999, 2001, 2002
Italian Supercup "Supercoppa": 1995