Livorno is once again the capital of basketball on a December night to frame. Among colors and applause, among choirs and flags, the Modigliani Forum dresses up – while the bad weather rages outside – and is transformed into a basketball theater, capable of unleashing emotions and warmth without respite. In the end, Pielle is her joy, making her the derby 61-59, in the spotlight of an Italy well focused on her.
A city in a frenzy, therefore, from the early hours of the afternoon, with dozens and dozens of cars lined up ready to reach Porta a Terra for what, to all intents and purposes, was an historic challenge, the return of Basket City after the golden years of the A1 series. In the stands many characters, from the mayor Luca Salvetti to the prefect Paolo D’Attilio, from the brothers Alessandro and Cristiano Lucarelli to the vice president of the Province, Pietro Caruso, to the delegate of Coni Gianni Giannone and to the former mayor Alessandro Cosimi. The charge of almost 8 thousand around, a city enraptured by the eternal charm of basketball.
In the field, delirium, as in the stands. On one side the Rebels, unceasing in their support, on the other the Sbandati, who do not retreat a step. Pielle starts strong and Libertas puts the arrow in the middle, then it’s a point to point that goes on for a long time. Among choirs, banners and teasing, without setting aside a high-flying tension, as a derby color leadership requires. On the field you play and fight, you suffer and you run. At half-time the advantage was slim, 34-32 for Pielle, led by Campori and Rubbini. Then again point by point, around enraptured gazes and non-stop passion. An attentive and passionate public, two teams elevated to the true pride of the city. And at the end of the third quarter it’s 47-46. Saccaggi at the beginning of the last quarter scores the 47-49, then the 59-59 of the last stopwatch up to 61-59 which sanctions the victory of Pielle. And the jubilation of the piellino. But the winners are basketball and all of Livorno.
DERBY SPECIAL | Pielle-Libertas’ news, photos, videos, report cards and interviews
– Pielle-Libertas, the interviews with the coaches