2012 Qualifying Round profile: Mapooro Cantu

Jun 19, 2012 by Euroleague.net Print
NGC Bennet Cantu
2011-12 Results
Euroleague: Top 16
Italian League: Quarterfinal
Italian Cup: Finalist
Maarten Leunen - Bennet Cantu
Maarten Leunen
PROVISIONAL ROSTER
2011-12
ABASS, AWUDU
G
SCEKIC, MARKO
F
SMITH, JERRY
G
MARKOISHVILI, MANUCHAR
G
LEUNEN, MAARTEN
F
MAZZARINO, NICOLAS
G
BROOKS, JEFF
F
TYUS, ALEX
F
TABU - EBOMA, BEYE
G
ARADORI, PIETRO
G
CUSIN, MARCO
C
Head Coach: TRINCHIERI, ANDREA
Coming off an impressive season in which the team made its long-awaited return to elite European basketball, Pallacanestro Cantu has the chance to get back to the Turkish Airlines Euroleague through the Qualifying Rounds. Cantu comes off its first Euroleague season since 1994 – and had a very pleasant return. The team sealed a Top 16 spot with a big road win against Gescrap BB on a wild game-winning triple by Gianluca Basile. Cantu even had a good chance to reach the playoffs, but its tie-break disadvantage against Maccabi Electra stopped Cantu's Euroleague season in the Top 16. It finished the Italian League regular season in third place before losing in the quarterfinals against Scavolini. Cantu also reached the Italian Cup title game, but Montepaschi ended up lifting the trophy. 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 and Cantu established itself as a top team outside the Italian borders as well. 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 and then lifted three straight Saporta Cup trophies 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 its 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 final 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. Cantu won the Italian Supercup in 2003 and took part in the 2004-05 ULEB Cup and the 2010-11 Eurocup. To this day, only Real Madrid has more trophies in European competition than Cantu's 10. Now gunning to add to its impressive tally, Cantu comes into the Qualifying Rounds with its only goal being a return to the Euroleague.