The celebrations of the champion.  Credit: Institute Press

Instituto de Córdoba won the National Basketball League for the first time in its history against Quimsa by 85-84 in a end not suitable for heart patients. The last ball was in the hands of Martín Cuello, who broke his wrist without pressure and put the result in his favor. Then there were two final seconds, to paralyze several hearts, and the consecrating chicharrazo.

In that game, at the Ciudad de Santiago del Estero stadium, there were more than 5,000 souls cheering for the Fusion. The extremely powerful Quimsa had a foreign presence. A very large budget compared to that of his rival. He played at home and was the favorite after finishing top in the regular season.

But the Glory He followed his script. Nicholas Romano, Martin Neck and Tayavek Gallizzi were the keys to this historic championship. All three dominated the painted areas. They became strong defensively, took away the effectiveness of the rival and lined up behind their mentor’s idea: luke victorian. Separate paragraph for this man.

The celebrations of the champion. Credit: Institute Press

The former point guard was part of the Golden Generation and, in addition to giving the Institute the first tournament in its history, he became the first person to be a National League champion as a player and as a manager. Inside the parquet, with the Olimpia de Venado Tuerto shirt in the 1995-96 season. On the other side of the red line, with the Alta Córdoba complex.

After the celebrations, the player from Tucuman approached to speak with the press and said about the game: “We had a lot of personality. It was not easy to play here today. We did a job from the beginning of the season where we did not change anything. We defend the same and attack the same We don’t adapt to any rival.”

When asked by this medium about his players, the brand new champion said: “I am very proud to have a team like this. Because they knew from minute one the philosophy they were going to follow, and they fulfilled it. And luckily today we were able to celebrate it “.

Lucas Victoriano, the group leader.  Credit: Institute Press

Lucas Victoriano, the group leader. Credit: Institute Press

leave everything for passion

Victoriano is the first former Golden Generation player to become a champion as a coach. About it, he added: “They send me that. But I don’t like individual awards. This is teamwork. I have the pleasure of having a huge team behind. Medical staff, managers. The award is for everyone because there are many people involved.”

On the other side of the ocean is his wife, Paula Palomares Valiente, a former basketball player; and his daughter, Carlota. With both he communicates daily through video calls. He had to leave his family more than 10 thousand kilometers away for a dream. A dream that is fulfilling.

“This award is for them,” he confessed to this chronicler. “She told me ‘bring me the cup’. It’s hard because I go a long time without seeing her pursuing this passion. Today the first thing I remember is her. The effort we make is impressive,” she added.

Immediately, the 44-year-old former base remembered his coaches: “The players had a hard time. Difficult. To get back together you have to have a lot of personality and they managed it.” Instituto did not have an easy regular season. They had to overcome many obstacles. Internal crises, injuries, operations and covid-19 situations.

Gallizzi, Romano and González with the cup.  Credit: Institute

Gallizzi, Romano and González with the cup. Credit: Institute

A final for the heart attack

Tayavek Gallizzione of the high points of the champion team, expressed himself: “Both teams are very good and we can’t give anything away. The team that relaxed, both offensively and defensively, was going to have a hard time. To win a game against Quimsa you have to to wear you out a lot. It was a final for the heart attack. Very exciting. But this game I think is evidence of what the series was.”

This was a very tough season for us. We were deadly as a team throughout the league, because we could lose to anyone. We lost to many teams and we couldn’t mark that presence that Quimsa did achieve. Having had a bad time throughout the season served us well. Biting through the mud all season gave us a boost. Unlike Quimsa, which imposed only names, we didn’t,” he said.

It cost the santafesino a duel in particular, the one he had against the American Eric Anderson, figure of Quimsa. “In these play-offs there was one pivot harder than the other and he couldn’t loosen up. In fact, in the third game I tried to control the energies and I had a very bad time against Anderson and that frustrated me a lot. But there my teammates banked me a lot, “he confessed. That comparison Fusion finished up 91-70 at the Ángel Sandrín.

Nicolás Romano, one of the most important values ​​of the Institute in the year.  Credit: Institute Press

Nicolás Romano, one of the most important values ​​of the Institute in the year. Credit: Institute Press

Cope with adversity

To put the series 2-2, Institute needed a key man. Nicholas Romano. The 34-year-old has just won his third Argentine title. During the regular season he was the most valuable player in the tournament and in the Play-off series he was also decisive.

“We knew that this group was for this type of situation. It was a tough year, but we knew how to go through adversity and that made us strong and today it happened. We were very united to win, “he confessed to himself on the parquet after celebrating with his teammates.

When asked about the problems they had to face, he replied: “Mainly the issue of covid. There have been many injuries throughout the year. All the players were only able to be together three games before the Play-offs. When the team was together it was seen that it was going to be a tough team”.

About his coach, he did not keep his praise: “Lucas from the first moment was one more. That distance that the coach puts there was not. From the first moment he was one more and that is why now we celebrate him with him as if he were one more “.

Coach Lucas Victoriano is the boss of this project that began a year ago. From that moment the team achieved the Super 20 of 2021 and the National League 2022. Within the field they are supported by the aforementioned Gallizzi and Romano, but another proper name is placed among the three most important of the team.

Finals MVP: Martin Neck. Ramos Mejía’s man scored the two free kicks that gave the Cordoba team the victory in addition to 21 points and 6 rebounds.

Martin Neck, MVP of the final.  Credit: Institute Press

Martin Neck, MVP of the final. Credit: Institute Press

“Happy for having won the title. For the club and for the support. It was us throughout the game. This is the true identity of the team and that is why we won the game. This is a dream. Ever since I started playing basketball, I’ve dreamed of this,” he said.

And he concluded: “I am happy for the club, for the way it works and for the leadership that bets on this. And above all for the people who bank basketball.”

The Glory ended up striking in Santiago del Estero. He won the fifth match 85-84 and came out champion, but it was not a stroke of luck. It was a tumultuous process, where you had to overcome yourself and work hard on rails. The leader of the train was Victoriano and his lieutenants Nico Romano, Taya Gallizzi and Loku Neck. The Cordovan team set foot on Santiago soil and left its red and white mark.

The match summary

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