Pallacanestro Reggiana

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Pallacanestro Reggiana
Pallacanestro Reggiana logo
Leagues LBA
Founded 1974
History Pallacanestro Reggiana
Arena PalaBigi
PalaDozza (Bologna)
(European games and unavailability of PalaBigi)
Arena Capacity PalaBigi: 4,600
PalaDozza: 5,721 (Bologna)
Location Reggio Emilia, Emilia-Romagna, Italy
Team colors White & Red
President Maria Licia Ferrarini
Team manager Alessandro Frosini
Head coach Massimiliano Menetti
Ownership Stefano Landi (Landi Renzo)
Championships 1 EuroChallenge
2 LegaDue
1 Italian Supercup
Kit body basketballwhitesides.png
Alternate jersey
Kit shorts redsides.png
Team colours

Pallacanestro Reggiana, also known for sponsorship reasons as Grissin Bon Reggio Emilia, is an Italian professional basketball team based in Reggio Emilia, Emilia-Romagna. It plays in the LBA as of the 2017–18 season.



Pallacanestro Reggiana was founded on 3 September 1974 by eight friends who wanted to establish a club that would unite the basketball community of Reggio Emilia. They started to play in the regional Promozione in a white and blue jersey sponsored by Magazzini Jolly, with the season ending with a promotion to the Serie D, in which they stayed a couple of seasons before again moving up, to the Serie C. The 1977–78 preseason saw the club merge with Cestistica Tricolore and come under the ownership of Cantine Riunite who also started sponsoring the club and changed its colours to white and red in the process. During the season itself, a team composed mainly by young local players led by Gianni Codeluppi earned a promotion to the third division Serie B.

The summer again saw an organisational change as the club amalgamanated Pallacanestro Correggio, which led to the arrival of future great Orazio Rustichelli in the squad. On the court, the team struggled, finishing the season at the last place which would have seen it relegated if not for an off-the-court reprieve. Over the next seasons the team established itself in the Serie B without managing to reach the next level, debuting promising youngster Piero Montecchi in the process.[1]


Players such as Rustichelli (now captain), Montecchi, Fuss and Zonta helped Pallacanestro Reggiana reach the professional ranks with a win in a promotion play-off played in Udine over Necchi Pavia that opened the gates of the second division Serie A2 at the end of the 1981–82 with thousands of young supporters invading the basketball court to celebrate. President Enrico Prandi kept Gianni Zappi as coach and recruited Americans Roosevelt Bouie and Rudy Hackett, father of future Italian national team player Daniel Hackett. These players, along with Pino Brumatti among others under new coach Gianfranco Lombardi, would help reach the Serie A anew. They would stay three seasons in the league, reaching the title playoffs in 1985–86 but going down the next season, with Montecchi leaving for Olimpia Milano at the end of the season.

Coach Piero Pasini ensured Reggio Emilia only stayed one year away and the team stayed in the Serie A over the following seasons which saw club great Joe Bryant arrive (along with his future superstar son Kobe, who played with the youth side).[1][2]


In 1990 the holding company was brought by Coopsette, with Sidis becoming the team sponsor, the ambitious club reached the Italian Cup Final Four but struggled in the second part of the league season and was relegated. The 1992–93 preseason saw the arrival of a Pallacanestro Reggiana legend in Mike Mitchell, who helped the club return to the elite.

Two seasons later the club was back in the second division, following which it decided to bank on its young academy players such as Alessandro Davoli and Gianluca Basile. Returning to the Serie A in 1997, Reggio Emilia rehired Lombardi as coach, with a young Max Menetti as assistant to guide a team containing players of the caliber of Chris Jent, Diego Pastori, Marcelo Damiao, Gianluca Basile and the evergreen Mike Mitchell. Thereafter came a successful season that saw them reach the title playoffs, downing first Milano (2–0) then in turn Treviso (3–2) winning Game 4 at the buzzer and Game 5 at PalaVerde without Mitchell to reach the semifinals where they exited at the hands of local rivals Teamsystem Bologna. The result was nevertheless enough to send the Italian outfit to a European competition for the first time, in the 1998–99 Korać Cup. Losing Mitchell (now 41) to retirement and Basile to a transfer towards Fortitudo Bologna, they reached the Round of 32 in Europe and stalled at the playoff eight finals, losing against Pepsi Rimini.[1]


Two new presidents (Elio Monducci and Chiarino Cimurri) and three different coaches could not prevent the side from falling to the second division at the end of the 1999–00 season with a 7–23 record. A nearly completely re-hauled squad coached by Franco Marcelletti reached the promotion playoffs finishing third the next season, reached the promotion finals after a 3–2 win over Pallacanestro Ragusa, but lost a heartbreaking game five to Livorno on a last second basket (81–79) at home.

Staying in the second division but now playing in the newly created LegaDue, Reggio Emilia also made changes, with Stefano Landi becoming president whilst Cimurri was named head of the LegaDue, a reorganization that also saw Alessandro Dalla Salda, the young former local press officer arising through the ranks, becoming general manager of the first team. Still coach, Marcelletti recruited Alvin Young during the NBA Summer League, with the American turning into an instant success along with compatriot Kris Clack, as the team reached the playoff finals again, after eliminating Ferrara and Scafati, but lost to Napoli, coached by a young Piero Bucchi, after five games, losing again at home (93–82).

A policy change in 2002–03, with Luca Dalmonte brought in as coach and veteran Stefano Rusconi as player, didn't yield better results, on the contrary as the team exited the promotion playoffs in the first round against Sicc Jesi, the first episode of a five years rivalry. Dalmonte lost his place to Fabrizio Frates (with Menetti assisting him), who proceeded to sign Kiwane Garris, Marco Mordente, Angelo Gigli and re-sign Alvin Young and Marcelo Damiao, with side avoiding the playoffs altogether as it finished the regular season in first place to grab the promotion race, sending Carife Ferrara and Jesi to the playoffs.[1]

With a similar squad, the team readapted well to the first division finishing the first round in the second place in order to qualify for the Italian Cup Final Eight, where it made a shocking path to the final beating giants Milano and Roma, but eventually lost the cup 74–64 to aBenetton Treviso led by Andrea Bargnani, Marcus Goree and David Blu. An anonymous domestic season in 2005–06 (finishing eleventh) was highlighted by good results in the side's ULEB Cup campaign (eligible to Europe's second competition thanks to their cup final) where they survived the regular season and downed Ventspils in the top 16 to reach the quarterfinals, with Hemofarm Vršac led by Milenko Topić ending their run.[3]

However, the next season ended in tears as Reggio Emilia were again relegated due to worst points difference than Air Avellino; despite Legabasket found irregularities in Treviso's Erazem Lorbek acquisition, the club was not readmitted in the First Division after a Tribunal court process only penalized Treviso record. They languished in the LegaDue in the subsequent years, exiting often in the playoffs.


The club flirted with relegation during the 2010–11 season, saving their skin with a last game win over Veroli combined with other results that saw Scafati beating Verona. In a complete turnaround in the 2011–12 season, the team led by Menetti (who had previously become head coach) romped to a promotion that they confirmed with a game to spare against Imola, with a 20–8 record .[1]

The good run of form continued in the Serie A, with Reggio Emilia grabbing a sixth place before taking Luigi Datome's Roma to seven games in their quarterfinals series, losing game 7 in the Eternal City in front of 600 away fans.[1] Qualified for another European competition, the third-tier EuroChallenge, a team spearheaded by EuroChallenge Final Four MVP Andrea Cinciarini - helped by James White among others - recorded an emphatic 79–65 victory over Triumph Lyubertsy in a packed PalaDozza Bologna arena to win their first even international title on 27 April 2014 in front of 4,000 enthusiastic fans.[4]

On the domestic front they again reached the playoffs but were edged 2–3 by holders Montepaschi Siena in their quarterfinal series, after a controversial defeat in a game 4 played at home with Reggio Emilia 2–1 at the time marked by bad refereeing.[5]

The next season saw the stages switched around, with Reggio Emilia jinxed by injuries underperforming in the 2014–15 EuroCup to exit the competition at the group stage with two wins in ten games. However, their league form proved more resilient as they regrouped from a March 68–118 demolition by Milano,[6] finishing third at the end of the regular season. They would make their home advantage count in the quarterfinal series against Enel Brindisi, winning game five at home to go through.

The semifinals against Umana Reyer Venezia had the team with their backs to the wall after a 67–89 defeat in game 5, but they won the next two games to progress to a first ever final. Against Italian Cup and Supercup holders Sassari, the first five games were split between respective home victories with Reggio Emilia favoured. They forced the sixth game in Sassari to three overtimes, with Cinciarini missing two title-winning shots in the dying moments of the fourth quarter, a three from Achille Polonara followed by a steal and layup from Rimantas Kaukėnas put them 5 ahead with seconds left in the first overtime but Sassari came back to force a second overtime, it went back and forth to finish tied and bring another overtime, in which Sassari pulled away for a win.[7]

Despite playing game 7 at home and racing into a 21–4 lead early on, Reggio Emilia could not find a response as Sassari gradually clawed back the lead before using a 12–0 fourth-quarter run to first tie then win a closely contested 73–75 game, denying the local fans the capture of a historic Serie A title.[8]

The next season Reggio Emilia won its first Italian Supercup in Turin, beating rivals Sassari in the semifinals and Milano led by former captain Andrea Cinciarini in the final 80–68. The team managed also to reach the EuroCup Last 32, finishing third in its group with memorable victories over ALBA Berlin, MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg and Le Mans Sarthe Basket; with a 11–4 record Grissin Bon finished the first round at the top of the table for the first time in its history.

With the adds of Vladimir Golubović (January) and Derek Needham (May), the team finished the Regular Season ranked 2nd for the first time in its history, determining a rematch of the previous season Finals with 7th place Dinamo Sassari with the likes of David Logan, Josh Akognon and former NBA prospect Joe Alexander. After easily winning the first two home games led by Pietro Aradori and Amedeo Della Valle, Reggio completed the sweep by winning Game 3 in Sardinia, reaching the semifinals for the second consecutive season to meet with 3rd placed Scandone Avellino.

During the season, the Under–20 youth team had an unbeaten run at the Under–20 National Championship Finals, only to lose the Championship game 70–64 against underdogs Pallacanestro Ferrara. In the Playoff semifinals, Grissin Bon won the first two home games, but Avellino came back winning Game 3 and Game 4 with a 43 points margin, tying the series 2–2. After Reggio won Game 5 and Avellino Game 6, Grissin Bon won the decisive Game 7 in front of a sold out PalaBigi 85–80, reaching the second Playoffs final of its history.

The series was marked by a disrespectful behaviour by both sets of fans: in Avellino Amedeo Della Valle and Achille Polonara were attacked with eggs by local fans, while in Game 5 Reggio's crowd repeatedly threw hygienic paper and match programmes into the court. Menetti's side lost Game 1 and Game 2 in Milan against Olimpia Milano, but managed to tied to series 2–2 by winning Game 3 and Game 4 at home. Milano eventually won Game 5 and Game 6 to win the title on Reggio's home court, where former captain Cinciarini was heavily booed.

The 2016–17 season started with the retirement of Kaukenas and the departures of Lavrinovič, Siliņš and Veremeenko. Delroy James and Sava Lešić were the first signings in the summer, while center Riccardo Cervi decided to return to the club after a season away with Avellino. Grissin Bon participated as title holders in the Italian Supercup Final Four, in Milan, but they were eliminated 74–72 in the semifinal by Avellino with a 3-point winning buzzer beater by Joe Ragland.

The campaign in the league started well, with a winning streak of 7 games from the 2nd to the 7th round, ended by a loss away to Varese in the 8th round, which opened a negative record of 2–6, ended by a home win over Brindisi the 6th of February 2017. However, the team managed to beat league favourites EA7 Milan in Bologna on the Boxing Day. Poor form of James and Lešić brought the management to wave them and acquire American rookie Jalen Reynolds and former 2005 NCAA champion Jawad Williams, while Rimantas Kaukenas decided to come out of retirement. Reggio beat 4th seed Capo d'Orlando in the Quarter Finals of the Italian Cup Final Eight, held in Rimini, but were knocked out in the semis by Milan. The poor form of the team continued with three consecutive losses against Trento, Cantù and Avellino that led the management to take the team to a close training camp in Cesenatico for two consecutive weeks.

In European competitions[edit]

The club has participated in various European tournaments, winning the FIBA EuroChallenge in 2014.


Pallacanestro Reggiana has played its home games in the PalaBigi (capacity: 4,600) since 1980. Built in 1968, it is named after the city's Secretary of Sports, Giulio Bigi, and seated 3,800 until a 2007 redesign. Because it is not up to standard for European competitions, Reggio Emilia has had to play its home games in that competition at the PalaDozza (capacity: 5,721) in Bologna.[9] Construction was undertaken over the 2015 summer to modernise the arena in order for it to host EuroCup games.[10]

New locker rooms and new bath services were built; however in October 2015 Luca Vecchi, Mayor of Reggio Emilia, announced a plan to modernise PalaBigi, taking the arena capacity to 4,600. An option to build a new arena near Stadio Città del Tricolore is still under consideration.[11] During the 2015 and 2016 Italian League Playoffs, the old structures of the arena couldn't answer the large amount of ticket requests from the local fans, leading the club to install screens in the cities' biggest squares "Piazza Martiri del 7 Luglio" and "Piazza San Prospero".


Pallacanestro Reggiana has always invested in the youth programme in order to develop new young prospects: in fact the team that won promotion to "Serie A2" in 1982 was almost composed of players born in the town and trained in the club academy, such as Gianni Codeluppi, Piero Montecchi and Orazio Rustichelli. From 1989 to 1991 a very young Kobe Bryant played in the Academy teams while his father Joe was playing for Pallacanestro Reggiana.[12]

In 1995 a young Gianluca Basile made into the first team, but it was in the 2000s the club produced a large amount of players. In the 2004-05 Lega Basket Serie A the club launched future national team player Angelo Gigli and Luca Infante and players who made themselves a name like Giorgio Boscagin and Luca Carra. Italian national team players Nicolò Melli and Riccardo Cervi, Latvian Ojārs Siliņš, Czech Jakub Kudláček, Serie A prospects Giovanni Pini and Luca Campani and NCAA player Federico Mussini have all been trained by the Reggiana youth coaches.

Three players in the recent years have switched from Reggiana's youth to NCAA college basketball: - Federico Mussini, St.John's Red Storm - Gabriele Stefanini, Columbia Lions committed - Alessandro Lever, Grand Canyon Antelopes committed


Current roster[edit]

Note: Flags indicate national team eligibility at FIBA sanctioned events. Players may hold other non-FIBA nationality not displayed.

Grissin Bon Reggio Emilia roster
Players Coaches
Pos. No. Nat. Name Ht. Wt. Age
PG 4 Italy Mussini, Federico 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in) 73 kg (161 lb) 21 – (1996-03-12)12 March 1996
F/C 5 United States Wright, Julian 2.03 m (6 ft 8 in) 107 kg (236 lb) 30 – (1987-05-20)20 May 1987
PG 6 Italy Bonacini, Federico 1.89 m (6 ft 2 in) 79 kg (174 lb) 18 – (1999-01-23)23 January 1999
PG 7 Italy Candi, Leonardo 1.90 m (6 ft 3 in) 81 kg (179 lb) 20 – (1997-03-30)30 March 1997
SG 8 Italy Della Valle, Amedeo 1.94 m (6 ft 4 in) 86 kg (190 lb) 24 – (1993-04-11)11 April 1993
F 9 United States White, James 2.01 m (6 ft 7 in) 98 kg (216 lb) 35 – (1982-10-21)21 October 1982
C 10 United States Reynolds, Jalen 2.06 m (6 ft 9 in) 105 kg (231 lb) 25 – (1992-12-30)30 December 1992
SF 11 Georgia (country) Markoishvili, Manuchar 1.97 m (6 ft 6 in) 95 kg (209 lb) 31 – (1986-11-17)17 November 1986
PG 12 United States Wright, Chris 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in) 91 kg (201 lb) 28 – (1989-11-04)4 November 1989
C 14 Italy Cervi, Riccardo (C) 2.16 m (7 ft 1 in) 115 kg (254 lb) 26 – (1991-06-19)19 June 1991
PG 15 United States Nevels, Garrett 1.88 m (6 ft 2 in) 86 kg (190 lb) 25 – (1992-11-26)26 November 1992
PG 18 Spain Llompart, Pedro 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in) 84 kg (185 lb) 36 – (1982-01-09)9 January 1982
SF 19 Italy De Vico, Niccolò 2.00 m (6 ft 7 in) 90 kg (198 lb) 23 – (1994-07-19)19 July 1994
Head coach
Assistant coach(es)
  • Italy Devis Cagnardi
  • Italy Federico Fucà
Athletic trainer(s)
  • Italy Massimo Di Giovanni
  • Italy Stefano Bini
Team manager

  • (C) Team captain
  • Injured Injured

Updated: 2 January 2018

Depth chart[edit]

Pos. Starting 5 Bench 1 Bench 2 Bench 3
C Julian Wright Jalen Reynolds Riccardo Cervi (injured) Alessandro Vigori (injured)
PF James White Landing Sané Siim-Sander Vene (injured)
SF Manuchar Markoishvili Niccolò De Vico
SG Amedeo Della Valle Federico Mussini Garrett Nevels (injured)
PG Pedro Llompart Leonardo Candi Chris Wright (injured)

Season by season[edit]

Season Domestic competitions Domestic cup European competitions
Tier League Pos. Postseason Tier Result Tier League Result
2002–03 2 LegaDue 5 Quarterfinalist
2003–04 2 LegaDue 1
2004–05 1 Serie A 13 1 Runners-up
2005–06 1 Serie A 11
2006–07 1 Serie A 17 Relegated
2007–08 2 LegaDue 4 Semifinalist
2008–09 2 LegaDue 14
2009–10 2 LegaDue 5 Semifinalist 2 Semifinalist
2010–11 2 LegaDue 13
2011–12 2 LegaDue 1
2 Quarterfinalist
2012–13 1 Serie A 6 Quarterfinalist 1 Quarterfinalist
2013–14 1 Serie A 7 Quarterfinalist 1 Semifinalist
2014–15 1 Serie A 3 Runners-up 1 Semifinalist
2015–16 1 Serie A 2 Runners-up 1 Quarterfinalist
2016–17 1 Serie A 2 Quarterfinalist 1 Semifinalist


Individual awards[edit]

Awards earned by members of Pallacanestro Reggiana whilst at the club:

Notable players[edit]

Hall of Fame[edit]

The following players were inducted into the club's hall of fame:[13]

Other notable players[edit]


Sponsorship names[edit]

Throughout the years, due to sponsorship deals, the club has been known as:

  • Magazzini Jolly Reggio Emilia: (1974–1977)
  • Cantine Riunite Reggio Emilia: (1977–1990)
  • Sidis Reggio Emilia: (1990–1993)
  • Ceramica Campeginese Reggio Emilia: (1993–1994)
  • Metasystem Reggio Emilia: (1994–1995)
  • Pallacanestro Reggiana: (1995–1996)
  • CFM Reggio Emilia: (1996–1998)
  • Zucchetti Reggio Emilia: (1998–1999)
  • Bipop Carire Reggio Emilia: (1999–2007)
  • Landi Renzo [European competition]: (2005–06)
  • Trenkwalder Reggio Emilia: (2007–13)
  • Grissin Bon Reggio Emilia: (2013–present)


  1. ^ a b c d As part of the club's 40th anniversary celebrations were named as the best players of the decades: 74–84 (Rustichelli), 84–94 (Basile), 04–14 (Young), all-time (Mitchell)[14]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Pigozzi, Linda (10 September 2014). "Pallacanestro Reggiana, quarant'anni di storia" [Pallacanestro Reggiana, a forty-year history]. (in Italian). Retrieved 1 September 2015. 
  2. ^ Incerti, Matteo (20 June 2007). "Kobe Bryant, ritorno a casa" [Kobe Bryant, a return home]. IlRestodelCarlino (in Italian). Retrieved 1 September 2015. 
  3. ^ "Club profile: Grissin Bon Reggio Emilia". 28 July 2014. Retrieved 1 September 2015. 
  4. ^ "Glorious Reggio Emilia make history". 27 April 2014. Retrieved 1 September 2015. 
  5. ^ "Dream season ends abruptly for Reggio". 29 May 2015. Retrieved 1 September 2015. 
  6. ^ Corio, Paolo (2 March 2015). "Riscossa Milano: +50 su Reggio Emilia. Sassari festeggia e replica" [Milano's tax: +50 on Reggion Emilia. Sassari celebrates and answers]. (in Italian). Retrieved 1 September 2015. 
  7. ^ "Domestic roundup: June 24 - Dinamo Sassari forces Game 7 in Italy after memorable 3OT victory". 24 June 2015. Retrieved 1 September 2015. 
  8. ^ "Domestic roundup: June 26 - Dinamo Banco di Sardegna Sassari wins its first Italian championship". 26 June 2015. Retrieved 1 September 2015. 
  9. ^ "Bologna welcomes the Final Four". 3 April 2014. Retrieved 1 September 2015. 
  10. ^ Sparvieri, Evaristo (1 August 2015). "PalaBigi, al via i lavori per l'Eurocup" [PalaBigi, construction for the EuroCup has started]. (in Italian). Retrieved 1 September 2015. 
  11. ^ [1]
  12. ^ [2]
  13. ^ "Hall of fame". (in Italian). Retrieved 1 September 2015. 
  14. ^ Pioppi, Francesco (8 October 2014). "Le prime quaranta candeline della Pallacanestro Reggiana" [Pallacanestro Reggiana's first forty candles]. (in Italian). Retrieved 1 September 2015. 

External links[edit]