How to win and have fun
His high-speed tactics exalt both the team and the fans. A championship won with Sassari, an Italian Cup and the play-off semifinals with Cremona. Sacchetti will train the National Team for the World Championship which will be played in China. The debut will be against the Philippines on 31 August.
His approach to basketball is very funny. Romeo “Meo” Sacchetti’s teams exalt their supporters and enter their heart: their pace is quick and they play in defence as required. The spectators enjoy the matches and the players have fun as well, since they feel free to express their talent. A championship won in Sassari, three Italian Cups (two in Sardinia and one in February with Cremona) and an Italian Super Cup, this is the palmarès of the coach to whom Gianni Petrucci, the president of the federation, has entrusted the national team, which will debut at the World Championship in China on Saturday 31 August against the Philippines.
- Where does your basketball idea come from?
«I’ve always trained clubs with limited budgets, we couldn’t afford to hire a strong centre. So I decided to focus on speed.»
- You always help your players feel self-confident. You never get angry for a wrong shot …
«I try to avoid getting angry, because I was a player too, so I know what it means to have a coach that lets you free to play in a quiet atmosphere. Tranquillity improves the scoring rate … »
- Playing at speed often leaves the players unmarked …
«That’s right. In this way, the best players can easily score. They are not all the same: only some of them can shoot, while the others should pass the ball.»
- Absence of a strong centre, quick pace, just like Berloni Torino in the Eighties?
«I remember those years with great pleasure: we had an excellent team; counterattack and transition were our strength. I also loved Cantù of Marzorati, as they immediately tried to score.»
- When you were a player, the national matches were scheduled for June, while now they are played before the beginning of the championships.
«The season calendar is very exhausting: 30 championship matches, the play-offs, the European cups … the Euroleague has 30 regular season matches. It should be better to have some rest, resume the matches after the middle of July and play in September.»
- The debut of the national team at the World Cup will be on 31 August against the Philippines, followed by Angola and Serbia. Two wins will be enough to qualify for the next round …
«We must focus on the first match; the debut in an international competition is never easy. We must win against the Philippines and Angola, then we will play with Serbia, whose players are extraordinary.»
- Then, to reach the quarter-finals, Italy will have to defeat Spain …
«Spain is a very good team, like Serbia and the United States, which was the best team in the World Cup. But we must focus on our first match against the Philippines. A good performance will prove that our work was effective and accurate.»
- Coach, you were a great player …
«But I did best as a coach. As a player, I never won the championship, while I did it as a coach. The goal achieved with Sassari was simply exciting, because the whole region supported us.»