1969–70 Serie A (basketball)

Serie A
Champions Ignis Varese
4th title
Runners-up Simmenthal Milano
Relegated Splugen Brau Gorizia
Brill Cagliari
Teams 12
Games played 22
Duration 2 November 1969 – 12 April 1970
Statistical leaders

United States Elnardo Webster


Highest scoring S. Milano 133–103 Gorizia
(8 February 1970)
Winning streak 9 games
Ignis Varese
Losing streak 13 games
Brill Cagliari

The 1969–70 Serie A basketball championship was the 47th season of the Serie A, the highest professional basketball league in Italy.

The regular season ran from 2 November 1969 to 12 April 1970, twelve teams played 22 games each. The team ranked first at the end of the season, Ignis Varese, was crowned champion (earning the single spot in the European Champions Cup) whilst the two lowest ranked teams, Splugen Brau Gorizia and Brill Cagliari, were relegated to the Serie A.

Ignis Varese won their second consecutive league title, fourth overall.

Season narrative


All clubs were allowed only one foreign player though the two clubs engaged in European competition (Ignis Varese and Fides Napoli) recruited another one to play in those competitions and All'Onesta' Milano's Tony Gennari, an American of Italian heritage, had controversially been naturalised as an Italian a few years prior. Nearly all of those foreigners were American, with Varese's Manuel Raga - from Mexico - a notable exception.[1]

The only two clubs without a sponsored name - widely the major source of revenue for clubs - were Virtus Bologna, who had chosen to keep their name intact, and Pallacanestro Cantù, whose sponsor Oransoda had withdrawn from basketball sponsorship.[2]

Ignis Varese, who had won both the domestic league and cup the previous season, was seen as the strong favourite to retain its title, with Simmenthal Milano, All'Onesta' Milano, Virtus Bologna and Fides Napoli cited as their main adversaries.[1][3] The defending champions had named Aleksandar Nikolić as coach and reinforced a squad already containing Raga, Dino Meneghin, Aldo Ossola and Ottorino Flaborea with former league top-scorer Paolo Vittori, Simmenthal had two arrivals (including Renzo Bariviera) for two departures, with the form of key duo Massimo Masini and Jim Tillman cause for concern, All'Onesta' were counting on American pair Gennari and Joe Isaac, Virtus Bologna - led by captain Dado Lombardi and 1969 NBA draft fourth-pick Terry Driscoll with recent Italy coach Nello Paratore at the helm - were seen as the dark horse for the title, with Napoli – minus Vittori – described as having a competitive but aging squad.[2]

Regular season

After nine straight wins to open the season, Varese was undone 73-76 after one overtime by Simmenthal Milano on 11 January 1970, allowing the Milanese to close the gap between the two front runners to two points.[4]

The Ignis-sponsored club lost only once more, an 80-88 defeat to Snaidero Udine on 22 March 1970, right before playing Real Madrid in the European Champions Cup.[5] An 82-72 win over Simmenthal during the penultimate game on 6 April took Varese's lead to an unassailable six points over Milano, the only serious contender for the title during a season which saw the holders in near unattainable form,[6] adding the European Champions Cup, Italian Cup and Intercontinental Cup later that year.[7]

The last round of the season took part on 12 April, with only honour at stake, Brill Cagliari - relegated long before with only two wins - upset Virtus Bologna 81-77 at home to earn their third win, the only notable result as all top-ranked sides won. It was another setback for Virtus, who failed to meet predictions as they finished eighth, far behind both Milano squads and Napoli who placed according to forecasts.[3] Splugen Brau Gorizia, the other promoted side that season besides Cagliari, had seen their relegation confirmed the previous round,[6] despite their player Elnardo Webster leading the league in scoring with 593 points (26.9 per game) to Raga's 558 (25.4 pg).[8]


Serie A 1969–70 – Club Locations
Pos Teams P W L PF PA Champion or relegation
1Ignis Varese 22 20 2 1913 1593 Champion
2Simmenthal Milano 22 17 5 2002 1761
3All'Onesta' Milano 22 14 8 1778 1714
4Fides Napoli 22 13 9 1765 1702
5Noalex Venezia 22 12 10 1726 1820
6Pallacanestro Cantù 22 11 11 1865 1879
7[lower-alpha 1]Eldorado Bologna 22 9 13 1573 1647
8[lower-alpha 1]Virtus Bologna 22 9 13 1728 1756
9[lower-alpha 1]Frizz Pelmo Pesaro 22 9 13 1774 1749
10[lower-alpha 1]Snaidero Udine 22 9 13 1718 1807
11Splugen Brau Gorizia 22 6 16 1883 1979 Relegation to Serie B
12Brill Cagliari 22 3 19 1517 1835

Source: Lega Basket

Individual scoring table

Rank Name Team Points PPG
1.United States Elnardo Webster Splugen Brau Gorizia 593 26.9
2.Mexico Manuel Raga Ignis Varese 558 25.4
3.United States Joe Allen Snaidero Udine 544 25.9
4.United States Gary Schull Eldorado Bologna 537 24.4
5.United States Ron Sanford Noalex Venezia 516 23.5
6.United States Terry Driscoll Virtus Bologna 468 21.3
7.United States Rudy Bogad Frizz Pelmo Pesaro 462 21.0
8.United States Jim Tillman Simmenthal Milano 462 21.0
9.United States Ed Siudut Pallacanestro Cantù 452 20.5
10.United States Jim Williams Fides Napoli 448 20.4

Source: unofficial statistics compiled by Giganti del Basket magazine (official statistics started from the 1975–76 season).[9]

Italian Cup

Ignis Varese also won the Italian Cup after beating Simmenthal Milano 75-66 in the final, played in Rome on 19 April 1970. The third place game between losing semifinalists saw Fides Napoli down All'Onesta' Milano 95-70.[10]

Championship-winning squad

Source: Lega Basket


  1. 1 2 3 4 Ranking by head-to-head record in case of tie.


  1. 1 2 "Aperta la "caccia" all'Ignis Varese. Undici squadre contro i campionio d'Italia" [Ignis Varese's "hunt" has started. Eleven teams against the Italian champions]. ArchivoLaStampa.it (in Italian). 31 October 1969. Retrieved 3 September 2015.
  2. 1 2 "Le protagoniste, tutte con lo straniero" [The protagonists, all with a foreigner]. ArchivoLaStampa.it (in Italian). 31 October 1969. Retrieved 3 September 2015.
  3. 1 2 Rubiu, Roberto (12 April 2015). "Il giorno di grazia della cenerentola Brill: l'altro 12 aprile 1970" [Brill's Cinderella's day of grace: the other 12 April 1970]. SardegnaSport.com (in Italian). Retrieved 27 August 2015.
  4. "Il Simmenthal la spunta sull'Ignis (76-73) dopo una battaglia finita ai "supplementari"" [Simmenthal checks Ignis (76-73) after a contest ending in overtime]. ArchivoLaStampa.it (in Italian). 12 January 1970. Retrieved 3 September 2015.
  5. "I cestisti dell'Ignis contro il Real Madrid" [Ignis' players against Real Madrid]. ArchivoLaStampa.it (in Italian). 25 March 1970. Retrieved 3 September 2015.
  6. 1 2 "L'Ignis è campione" [Ignis is champion]. ArchivoLaStampa.it (in Italian). 6 April 1970. Retrieved 3 September 2015.
  7. Gancedo, Javier (22 November 2013). "The Club Scene: Cimberio Varese". EurocupBasketball.com. Retrieved 3 September 2015.
  8. Stankovic, Vladimir (5 March 2011). "The flying Mexican". Euroleague.net. Retrieved 3 September 2015.
  9. "Serie A 1969-70 - classifica marcatori" [1969-70 Serie A - scorers table] (PDF). LegaBasket.it (in Italian). Retrieved 4 September 2015.
  10. "Basket: all'Ignis anche la Coppa Italia" [Ignis also takes the Italian Cup]. ArchivoLaStampa.it (in Italian). 20 April 1970. Retrieved 3 September 2015.
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