Pallacanestro Reggiana has landed in Eurocup playoffs for the first time in its history. The historic qualification of Grissin Bon Reggio Emilia in the quarter-finals of the continental tournament was celebrated by Mapei Sport Research Center staff, which since 2014 follows the biancorossi players, now definitely part of the European basketball elite.

Last week, during the usual physical tests in view of next games (Match1 Tuesday 6 March, Match2 Friday 9 March and eventual Match3 Wednesday 14 March, to follow championship challenges scheduled during the weekend against Dolomiti Energia Trentino and Germani Basket Brescia), we had the chance to interview coach Massimiliano “Max” Menetti.

What contribution does Mapei Sport Research Center give to your work?

«After 4 years we have a relationship of trust with all the staff of the Olgiate Olona (VA) center that has gone far beyond the numbers or feedback on the athlets. We worked together on a team that helped me and my staff to have a growing success».

Concretely for a coach what does it mean to be able to rely on scientific data related to the condition of his players?

«It counts very much when you have the right intermediaries in interpreting these numbers. The collaboration with dr. Ermanno Rampinini, head of the Human Performance Lab (HPL) of Mapei and team sports consultant, is a fundamental tool in everyday life. In a sport like ours, where you get to play every two days, you need to know how to “listen” to what the numbers are saying, understanding their language. This support given by Mapei Sport is the extra card we can play».

After a tough season start, what was the turning point to return to a competitive level?

«In what I am going to say there is very little scientific, but it was crucial to have joined in a time of difficulty. Everything that we has passed has helped us to build something unique and that we hope we can continue to replicate».

What are your expectations for the rest of the season?

«We have immediately an important event with the quarterfinals of Eurocup against Zenit St. Petersburg. The goal is to stay in the competition as long as possible, if all this will be associated with the ability to hook the playoff train, then a bad season could turn into an absolutely positive year».

photo © EnricoRossi / Pallacanestro Reggiana