Enter the official Derthona Basket website

History of Derthona Basket

Our history from 1946 to today




The 2021/22 season, the first in Serie A, sees Bertram Derthona reach the Final Eight of the Super Cup, the first competition of the season. In the championship, the team has consistently occupied a place in the top eight of the league table since the first days, achieved qualification for the Final Eight of the Italian Cup, an event in which it reached the final, and reached the playoffs a day early. After eliminating Umana Reyer Venezia in the quarter-finals, Bertram Derthona ended their season in the semi-finals against Virtus Segafredo Bologna. In 2022/23 the team coached by Marco Ramondino further improves the results obtained in the first season in Serie A: for the entire duration of the regular season, in fact, Bertram Derthona occupies one of the top three positions in the standings. Participation in the Super Cup and the Final Eight of the Italian Cup arrive again, as well as the Scudetto semi-final, lost against Virtus Segafredo Bologna. Following the results achieved, the Club earns the right to participate in the FIBA ​​Basketball Champions League: in 2023/24 the Company will thus make its debut in a European competition.




The 2020/21 season starts in the best possible way, with twelve consecutive initial victories in the championship which are worth the best start ever in the Serie A2 Old Wild West championship. The team coached by Ramondino remained in the top positions in the rankings throughout the year and began the playoffs as the number 3 seed in the draw. After beating Ravenna and Eurobasket Roma, Reale Mutua Torino is once again the opponent for a place in Serie A. From the matches at PalaGianniAsti the situation returns to perfect parity (1-1), before Torino takes the lead in the series thanks to a great collective performance in game 3 in Voghera. The Lions impact the series thanks to a basket by Cannon 9/4 of a second from the end of game XNUMX and they play it all in a beautiful and exciting away match. The balance is broken by two free throws from Sanders less than two seconds before the siren, which crown the dream of many years. It's history, Derthona will play Serie A for the first time!




La 2018 / 19 season sees the first participation of Leoni  to the LNP Old Wild West Super Cup, concluded at third place, and the subsequent change on the bench between Lorenzo Pansa e Marco Ramondino after three days. The year ends with a save on the field. In the 2019/20 the company sets up a very renewed training and achieves success in LNP Super Cup 2019, at the end of the final against Reale Mutua Torino at the PalaLido Allianz Cloud in Milan. Captain Matteo Martini raises to the sky the second trophy in the history of Derthona. In the championship i Leoni they find themselves in mid-table at the time of the stop to the championship imposed due to the proliferation of the Covid-19 pandemic which stops the country and sport at all levels.




After The golden years of the Derthona-Orsi duo, on the shirts a new partner arrives. You write it Bertram Yachts and it is a historic name in American boating... but in these parts we read about Beniamino Gavio who decides to link his name to that of the Derthona Basketball. It's year zero and on the field we sail by sight for a couple of months before coach Lorenzo Pansa shifts into high gear and, with them, 5 victories in a row that take us to the Final Eight of Italian Cup. They are played in March, in Jesi and Italy is devastated by bad weather: but another cyclone hits the Marche, and the cyclone comes from Tortona. Garri and his associates bully Trieste, crush Biella and in the final with Ravenna they play a one-sided symphony. We return to the stadium with the Cup and even now as we write, it doesn't seem true to us. But now it's a completely different film, perhaps it will take place in Tortona again, perhaps in a large and magnificent house and perhaps the future will be even more beautiful... It will certainly always be LIONS.


The years 2015-2016

Il 2015-2016 it's the first year of A2 unique and of the division into two groups that cut Italy from WEST to EAST. Let's try to be ambitious with a veteran under the boards and a kid as point guard: on Luca Garri and Marco Spissu we build a story that a champion like De'mon Brooks and a talent like Davide Reati help to write in fair copy. Third place in the regular season, then a wonderful series and in 5 games we eliminate Trieste to open the doors to the quarter-finals. Brescia arrives and there should be no story. 2-0 for them. But in Casale (where we emigrated and where we will stay for a year....) there is Derthona del Camagna, the one who ultimately wins with the heart. 2-2 and a whole town moves to Cremona where there are 700 of us to celebrate the last act of a memorable season while Brescia respects us, beats us and flies in A1. The year that follows is a festival of the unknown. Between the disengagement of the Ghisolfi family and the obligation to exile in Casale, the conditions are yet to be discovered and in mid-December, a triple on the siren condemns us to a cruel derby and puts us in the playout zone. We end the calendar year by taking 30 in Treviglio and saying goodbye to Reati who signs in Forlì but we enter the 2017 and the frog becomes Prince again. The second round is a show of 11 victories, with Glenn Cosey and Phil Greene as the black and white dioscuri and a group of Italians who decide to explain to everyone the true meaning of the term GROUP. Ricci, Cucci, Alviti, Sanna, Mascherpa, Garri, Conti…. They also beat Mantua in the first round and give themselves the joy of a quarter-final in which Trieste is simply better than us.


The debut in Serie A


2014 is the year ofdebut in Serie A and, at the same time, the moment to say goodbye to the legendary "Palazzetto", the scene of thousands and thousands of battles but not compliant with the standards of the second National championship. Derthona plays in Voghera, it's strange just to say it but it's not the only news because the Americans land in Tortona for the first time and they are Chris Polk (immediately replaced by Ramon Galloway) e Jeffrey Crockett the first USA to wear our uniform; he sits on the bench Demis Cavina and it will be another story of struggle and triumphs... The impact, however, is traumatic. 1 victory and 5 defeats make us believe that Serie A is too much for us, then one Saturday in late autumn we hit Latina with the addition of Jordan Losi and from there we never look back. We closed the first season in A2 with 16 wins and 14 defeats but none of the successes on the field will ever be able to close the wounds in our hearts when we suddenly discover that Guido Ghisolfi he is no longer there and with him another father of this black and white creature goes.


The years 2009-2014

Thanks to the friendship between Marco Ghisolfi, historic supporter of Tortona society and the legendary Petar Naumoski, the highly decorated Macedonian closed his glorious career with the Derthona shirt in the 2008-09 season, dragging Tortona to Serie C1. It will be the flame that rekindles an entire city's enthusiasm for basketball. Appetite comes with eating and with Marco Picchi supporting Luigino in the chair, they attempt to climb to the top levels of basketball. In 2009-10, however, excellent arrivals were not enough such as: the sacred monster Orsini, the young promise Della Valle and the various Zunino, Di Gioia and Magnone. Meanwhile the movement is growing behind, the effect of the long Naumoski wave: the Under 19 team, having returned to Excellence level, conquers none other than Varese and the Under 14 team are Regional Champions led by the trio Dario Gay-Gatti-Tava who also shine at the national 3v3 level. In the 2010-11 the senior formation finds a new structure with the inclusion of the Degrada-Pavone duo and the launch of Under Gatti-Taverna, but it is still not enough for the leap in quality. What was missing was the adequate direction that was found the following year with Arioli on the bench and Quaroni on the pitch with the vital support of the factotum Leone Gioria, a name, a destiny! While the boys of '99, Regional Champions with the Under 13s, thrive in the youth team, the "music becomes beautiful" with the historic promotion to Serie B after three unforgettable final matches. The heroes are the various Quaroni, Degrada, Gioria, Pavone, Gatti, Ganguzza but also an incredible audience, capable of redeeming the disappointment of Novara to cut the retina in the beautiful one at PalaCamagna. Derthona still believes in it too 2012-13 with Samoggia's class helping out under the basket. In a group that takes us to the border with Slovenia, the Bianconeri only surrender to the Brescian senators of Monticelli. But the machine is now launched, also driven by the inexhaustible energy of the young people who, galvanized by the visit of Cimberio Varese, obtain another title with the Under 15s and reopen the summer camp. 2014, 30 years after Carpi, the roads of Emilia Romagna still lead well to Derthona. That it is the right year is immediately clear with the victory over the legendary Fortitudo in a PalaCamagna attacked by the Bolognese Fossa dei Leoni. But even more incredible will be the victory in the return leg in front of the 5000 at PalaDozza and so on until the final won against Piacenza to close in Romagna in the play-offs in Cervia against a Legnano team where Derthona put on a show! It seems like a dream, we are in A2 Silver!!

Texts taken from the book “HEART OF A LION: fifty years of basketball in Tortona” by Roberto Gabatelli – 2008


The 2000s

Luigino likes to amaze and it all starts from an evening at Checco's for dinner with Nico Messina and Dino Meneghin. We talk about the old days, about Simmenthal, and remember Giulio Jellini: never give Luigino an idea. A few weeks later, the playmaker of the championships and Champions Cups is the new coach of a Derthona Basket who with the balance before their eyes is looking for salvation in C1 and new talents from the youth sector. Bellani and Fradagrada are the additions, Andrea Ablatico the President but these are the years of the Four Hail Marys: Tava-De Ros-Barabino-Moncalvi, in strict numerical order, on the 4th, 10th, 13th and 14th they collect feats one after another, carrying the weight of eight, endless years of consecutive C1 on their shoulders.
At the Palazzetto the light is what it is, the bottom is not exactly like Madison Square Garden and over time battleships such as Caneva's Alessandria fall in an annals derby, Barantani's Castelletto, Leva's Saronno and Ferrario: the script is always the same, staying in the game and hitting at the end when all the rebounds, all the dirty balls end up in the right hands.

You often win, even at women's level and there promotion to Serie B it is the flagship of a group that Stefano Orsi has strengthened with Mantovan, Codevilla and Chiara Dallera, also from Tortona by adoption: it is the pink contribution to a movement that reaps successes at the end of the 90s when basketball continues to evolve, becoming more and more a game for modern athletes, for two-metre gentlemen who dribble, run and shoot in the same way. No longer 30, but 24 seconds to shoot, no longer two periods but four periods, only 8 seconds to pass the midfield: this is what the X generation needs, the new legends Kobe Bryant, Allen Iverson, Shaquille O'Neal, Kevin Garnett and the new talents of our house. The 1983-84-85 group is talked about, Barco-Beraghi-Campeggi and Palenzona are Italian category champions in the 3-on-3 and in turn they taste the first pieces of the first team, of a team that will be theirs in the perfect style of generational change.

The new millennium opens with the salvation in Bra, with the oxymoron of a sad joy, in the changing rooms of a building that has seen us as guests many times and which, coincidentally, from that day onwards we will no longer see. It's as if someone knew that we don't want to go back to Bra, we don't want to go back to where Mario Armana told us that he would never coach again, knowing that another challenge awaited him without baskets, without blackboards and without defenses to prepare. On January 15, 2001, the "Prof" leaves us orphans of his wisdom, his style, his humor, his class as a sporting gentleman and that cold day, in the Cathedral, there are all those who learned from him to live before making an arrest and shooting.
With his memory in our hearts, and his son Marco playing the first minutes of his career, Derthona passes into the hands of Angelo Franzosi, President for three years, and the purchases of Meneghin and Rotasperti are added to the list of great foreigners who have passed through here . De Ros and Barabino have said enough, while Tava is captain and custodian of the Tortonesità with Picchi and Moncalvi: there is also the satisfaction of playing the playoffs in C1 but it is the last round of the merry-go-round of a historic generation because Massimo's return is not enough Codevilla saved us in 2004. We return to C2, we start again from scratch, with the future in the hands of today's kids. In Athens we take theOlympic silver when Basile and Galanda destroy the Lithuanian battleship under a hail of triples, while in Italy it is the era of Benetton-branded Treviso and total opening to foreigners, the effect of the infamous Bosman law which comes all the way to us.

Returning to C2 after 8 years it is the opportunity to start again doing things at home: between Tava, Moncalvi, and Lonardo on one side and Campeggi, Barco and Beraghi on the other, a strange but winning mix arises with Marco Picchi acting as a bridge between two generations of basketball players who right at the Palazzetto they learned to dribble. It's been years since they started quietly but became beautiful along the way when Armana and Martinelli also returned to the base, always taking us to the end, to two finals in four years, even after the farewells of Moncalvi and Roberto Tava which becomes difficult, after 22 seasons, do not consider the greatest ever.
We too arrive on the parquet, in a gym that bears the right name and foreigners play there, this time in name and in fact: Liba Meatchi comes from Togo, Gaston Campana is a caliph from the Argentine pampas, Ronnie Gordon comes from Scotland but does not rugby player, Carlos Vasquez loves the sun of Santo Domingo.
The rest is today's history.

Of a stadium once again as sold out as it used to be, of another Tava president, of Luigino always charged like a spring, of Gabatelli who we have missed in recent years, of yesterday's players, today's managers, of yesterday's managers who have always been fans, by Marco Ghisolfi who would like to take us high once again, as he did that evening with Carpi.
He trains Edo Gatti who is one of us, and on the pitch there is a legend who goes by Naumoski Petar. His points, his assists, his shots have already begun to delight us in the belief that he will be able to show us the path to victory: but perhaps the greatest hope is that even a champion like him leaves feeling part of our great team. family.

Texts taken from the book “HEART OF A LION: fifty years of basketball in Tortona” by Roberto Gabatelli – 2008


The years 1991-1999

The years of Caserta Champion of Italy with Enzino Esposito on a stretcher on the sidelines, of the European dynasty of Split but above all the years of a man born in Brooklyn in February 1963, raised in North Carolina and chosen in the NBA draft by the Chicago team . With Michael Jordan, basketball thanks the gods because nothing will be the same if the greatest athlete of all times has chosen a 28 meter long rectangle to perform. America is not enough, MJ becomes a global phenomenon and the 1992 Barcelona Games are the right catwalk: enough with the university students, the Dream Team arrives at the Olympics, and it is one performance after another ending with the most discounted gold ever. Magic and Bird finish playing basketball, they are what remains of the Eighties - as Raf sang - and let the Bulls dynasty begin.

New dynasties also in the Derthona house when Milvio Picchi come back to the Presidency ten years later and entrusted the sporting direction to an old friend: with Luigino Fassino it is a combination that smacks of old times, of Bar Italia, of Simmenthal and of course of Rapida. Caenazzo on the bench, twelve Tortonesi players on the pitch, with De Ros and Moncalvi called back to base to quickly leave the purgatory of Serie D and the result is a cavalcade of 27 victories out of 30. Back in Serie C, still the same, Tortonesità in power but the partnership between team and coach is broken, Barabino's heart is not enough, the class of Tava and De Ros is not enough and not even Andrea Moncalvi's feeling with the basket. They were relegated to Alba, with the dressing room in turmoil, in the last minute of the last day but the fourth from last place was good for the repechage and when the club baton passed to Adelio Ferrari the senators asked for the return of Mario Armana. With him, Bobo Creati and Paolino Mossi, a sixteen-year-old from San Salvatore with crystal-clear talent: it is the year in which Tava leaves an achilles tendon on the field, and we leave C1 again in the final epilogue of Omegna.
We are consoled by the women who return to basketball which counts as undefeated, hailing the talent of Camilla Muratori combined with the passion of Barabino, Orsi and Gazzaniga: the women's team is followed by Stefano Orsi, known to all as Bobo, and finds a wife but above all basketball finds him, another of those managers who leave their mark like Fossati, like Ablatico, like Angelo Franzosi and like Giampiero Palenzona. They are the ones who cover the role, but now Derthona rhymes with Luigino who is a river in flood, a volcano of ideas and passion: the love for this sport has kept him standing, the players are "...my boys ” and the boys play for him. Like Saturnino Colicchio, a wardrobe that arrived from Milan on a Harley Davidson in June 1995 plays in Collegno on one leg: it's the play-off to return to C1, half of Tortona invades the town known for the proverbial forgetful because it's playing against Alessandria and so it's a matter of principle. We lose nothing on the field while in the stands it is a sea of ​​black and white on which to lay the foundations for the great return a year from now when today's captain, Marco Picchi, makes his debut and a caliph of the scoreboards named Paolo Arucci arrives.

It's a terrible championship, 18 teams and only one promotion, without playoffs: we're strong, it's true, but we have a lot of heart because we win an infinite number of them in the sprint, in the last seconds like the evening when Tava becomes a father for the first time and he scores the free throws for the victory over Verbania, generating a Wild West brawl. The evening of success in Aosta was June of 1996, we're back in C1, we can go to De Ros's wedding and think that it went well again.

Texts taken from the book “HEART OF A LION: fifty years of basketball in Tortona” by Roberto Gabatelli – 2008


The years 1986-1991

We are mid-eighties, in the midst of the historic rivalry between the Lakers and Celtics, between Hollywood showtime and the pride of the sons of the Irish. Dan Peterson, historic coach of that Simac Milano which won two consecutive Champions Cups, uses private broadcasters to make us see a basketball that seems light years away and which is instead getting ever closer if it is true that people like Bob McAdoo and George Gervin decides to end his career on our parquets.
It's an Derthona new generation, there is Roberto Gabatelli behind the desk but not only because the "Gaba" is the backbone of the whole movement and with him on the pitch come the terrible boys who have depopulated at youth level: they are the Tava, the Barabino, the Rovere , the Tasca and to coach them he can only be the master of all time. For Caenazzo, Armana also means a radical change in philosophy and we move from a run-and-shoot style of basketball to the slower-paced passing game of Mario. The attention to detail, the imprint of defensive organization, the first videotapes, the obsessive knowledge of the opponent's characteristics: the Professor's coaching is a leap into the future and in Tortona the disappointment for the bad year lasts for the space of a morning if it is true that in 1986 promotion to B2 came close after an exciting championship. Barberis and Piscedda are the foreigners, De Ros, Cermelli and Lonardo are the pillars who surrender only to the Astense of Arucci and Frediani.

In times of great combinations between companies and sports clubs, we are a white fly, we play with "empty" shirts but our weakness becomes our strength. President Ghisolfi plays the card of a pool of sponsors, many entities that contribute to the common project and growing enthusiasm is generated: the stands erected for the Derthona-Carpi evening remain in place and always seem too small because the lions play every Sunday six of us, driven by the noise and heat of Camagna.
Sunday afternoons at the Palazzetto become a must, to see Gibertini, Pollicardo, Celenza pushing our ship for three consecutive voyages one step away from the coveted port of Serie B. Giovanni Lonardo is our Charles Barkley, he has physical impact, technical skills and he lives his good years playing as an atypical second long man next to old-fashioned pivots but he is not the only one from Tortona to give us joy because Dino Canegallo's girls don't lose for a straight year and deserve nine-column titles. Sara Orsi, Roberta Greggio, Antonella Gazzaniga, Manuela Franzin: another group, another sex, but always Tortona docet and we are at 1989, to the year in which the scudetto went to Milan in the fiery finale in Livorno, with Forti's shot half a second before or half a second after the fateful siren.
Just one year is enough to admire Fabrizio Brakus, a Slav by origin and Piedmontese by adoption who delights us in 1989-90: he is a luxury five-star shooter, the first great long-range shooter known in Tortona and sixth place in a group without Ligurians but with the Tuscans he is anything but bad. In our local newspapers, a certain Vacirca Gianmaria, from Isola Sant'Antonio, tells us basketball facts, who perhaps has never made a basket but seems to be keen on it, has a black and white heart and they say he could reach the top...

The decade is changing, for basketball it is the year of the centenary, for us the year in which the Federation turns its back on us. We end up in the Umbrian-Tuscan area and the anecdotes with the early morning bus departures, the dawn returns, the red light films, the card games and the tales of Mancio are not enough to give us salvation. It is the moment in which the new recruits are enlisted from Borasi to Lattuada passing through the Arbasino-Canegallo duo, or rather “Arba&Canè” as if it were a single word. President is Beppe Tava, a man who is not with us today but who helped us to be there.

Texts taken from the book “HEART OF A LION: fifty years of basketball in Tortona” by Roberto Gabatelli – 2008


The golden age


We like basketball because it evolves, because it knows how to change, to keep up with the times of an era that is becoming modern. In the 1979 American professionals discover that if they shoot from far away, a basket can be worth 3 and it is a Copernican revolution. Derthona, led by Enrico Merli, launches two promising players into the first team: Paolo De Ros and Massimo Codevilla and supports them with an Istrian talent, Sergio Jurkovic. The revs go up, the away games get longer, the opponents become prestigious but we get on the merry-go-round of the greats, of a sport that enters everyone's homes with the first matches on TV, with the Palazzone of San Siro and the Billy of Milan, with the first games that come from another world, from the NBA that knows two interesting guys. One is white, comes from Indiana and settles in Boston, the other is black, has the body of a center but plays point guard, studied at Michigan State and moves to California: if you haven't understood who I am, I lost to you the hopes.
With the sale of Codevilla, and the consequent lire, we won quite a few championships but we became famous for the climate of our field, because it feels like being in Greece when the Lions' Den arrives.

"Armed lions we are marching, we are the Leon's Den..."
In the away match in Tortona they don't like to play and they referee even less cheerfully but the warm climate isn't enough to avoid relegation. They fish us out almost immediately and with Guido Ghisolfi as first manager, a future is planned that is already around the corner: Aldo Caenazzo is the coach, while Armana raises the brood of 1967-68 that it will take away some satisfaction from us. A couple of years of transition, the promise of alternating Presidency, then came 1983 and here we could go from memory. It is the year of Nantes, of the European Championships of Meneghin, of Sacchetti, of Villalta but in Tortona it is the year of Licia Fassino as president, of Teo Mitton from Alessandria, of Angelo Lorenzon from Valenza. Then there are our boys: the Cermellis, Giovanni Lonardo, Enrico Marina, Adelio Ferrari, Marco Ghisolfi, Piero Fornasari, the great Nereo. And the May 1984, and after a top championship, everything is at stake in the match against Carpi: victory in game 1, defeat in game 2, destiny is in the "beautiful" and Tortona stops for an evening because they are all at the Palazzettto, people Never seen before and never seen again. Marco Ghisolfi, from his tile, doesn't make a mistake even as a joke, he writes 32 and sends Tortona to heaven, in C1, and thinking about the refugees from Istria, at the Passalacqua Barracks gives me shivers.

It's the highest point.
It only lasts one year, because perhaps the C1 is too much for us, or perhaps because luck turns its back on us, the fact is that if we talk about 1984 we prefer to remember a November date in which the NBA lands in Tortona: it is the Four Roses, a team on a European tour that stops in our home. It would take two arenas to satisfy the desire for basketball, to applaud Nate Tiny Archibald, a talent who comes from Brooklyn and who on the other side of the world won the MVP award, in an unforgettable evening.
A sweeter memory than the relegation, of the awareness that Ghisolfi is in his last year with playing shoes, that Gazzaniga surrenders to his fragile knees. It is the end of an era, but it is not the end of Derthona Basket driven by coach Canegallo's girls and with a group of young men knocking on the door of the stadium: to name two, there are Roberto Tava and Francesco Barabino who with the junior team have crossed half of Italy and have no intention of stopping.

Texts taken from the book “HEART OF A LION: fifty years of basketball in Tortona” by Roberto Gabatelli – 2008


In one word: BOOM


Munich Olympics, 1972, and for those who love sport these are sad days with terrorism invading the Olympic Village, hitting Israeli athletes and causing the suspension of the Games. But for the ball it is also a historic moment: in the midst of the Cold War the Olympic final is between the United States and the Soviet Union and in the most incredible of finals (but how many have we seen like this...) Alexander Belov gives the gold medal to Russians, giving rise to an endless series of appeals and controversies.
In Tortona basketball literally explodes and if it is true that those who sow reap, these are the fruits of the youth organization studied and implemented in the decade just ended. The protagonists of the pitch are built at home, President Pugni knew it, Franco Nicola also knows it, all those who will hold the highest managerial position in the years to come will remember it. The Derthona takes shape, embraces the Rapida and becomes the true basketball expression of our home. These are the years that set an example with the historical nucleus of the Tortonesi, the hard core of Capitan Carboni, Pippo Bertolotti, Massimo Falcin together with some "foreigners" who complete the staff. It rises to the headlines thanks to Uccio Camagna's girls who arrive as far as Rome, as far as the Foro Italico which would soon go crazy for a certain Panatta Adriano. Are the Youth Games 1972, the future national team Zanelli drags us but the best scorer is Anna Ghisolfi, a surname and a family that will be easy to link to the successes of Tortona basketball even some time later.

These are the years of austerity, of afternoon games to allow people to return by train, but basketball's race towards second place among national sports continues as fast as a five-against-zero counterattack. We are different from football, we like to think that those who do the best things always win under the basket, that it is like an equation where the numbers must be in the right place and so here are the first statistics, what today we call box scores, with shooting percentages, rebounds, steals. A sheet that summarizes a match, numbers to study, to read and reread to understand what went wrong: the Americans teach us this, we in the provinces let ourselves be fascinated while the new recruits grow, those who must take us to the top and that they will reach the top. From the 1958-59 draft they are Marciano, Marina, Gazzaniga, all people who on the C series fields will be able to explain that a highly respectable tradition was born in Tortona which now awaits a sports hall of its own, capable of offering the right stage.

January 1975 it's another wound in the heart: Uccio Camagna dies and with him a piece of the women's movement. Naming the Palazzetto after Uccio becomes the minimum recognition while trying to continue on the path that leads upwards by signing the agreement with the Saclà of Asti. The "foreigners" arrive, the Rallos, the Malaspinas, the Bragheros but the one who leaves his mark is a certain Nereo Maghet from Gorizia: he is the 1976-77, Nereo is a point guard and is an encyclopedia walking around the pitch. He takes us one step away from the D, close to a boy born in Illinois but from Tortona to the core, called Gianni Cermelli, someone who shoots and if he misses he gets the rebound, someone who doesn't live as an athlete but who plays with a heart that makes you want to put on your shorts and fight with him. There is Mario Armana on what today they call "the pine", under the basket Carboni and Fornasari, Gazzaniga is what today would be a 3-4 but Nereo goes down in history because he becomes the first of many to come. Of people who come to Tortona to play and leave their hearts there, of kids "adopted" by the large family who wrote Derthona Basket on the house intercom.

The Seventies ended with the first sponsor on a black and white shirt and with rightful access to the C2 series: we are now a reality and the golden years are just around the corner.

Texts taken from the book “HEART OF A LION: fifty years of basketball in Tortona” by Roberto Gabatelli – 2008


The legendary sixties…


We can say it too because these are the years of the definitive push, of the consecration of a Tortona basketball movement. Yet the omens have dark hues if it is true that while Wilt Chamberlain, the 2 March 1962, scores 100 points in New York with the Philadelphia shirt (naturally unbeaten record) Derthona has stopped its activity. We start again exactly two years later, within the newly formed city sports club, with Vittorio Moccagatta presiding over the members' meeting but above all with the launch of a regular Basketball Introductory Center and this is the turning point: January '65 there are 150 members directed by Prof. Dino Canegallo and Prof. Mario Armana. They are the heirs of Messina and with Prof. Aldo Caenazzo they will become the triumvirate of Tortona coaches for entire generations.

In 1966, Simmenthal's Olimpia Milano is the first Italian team to raise the Champions Cup to the skies while the city's attention rises to the level for the legendary Bar Tournaments which gather around the Corso Garibaldi field big-match audiences also for the presence of people like Rusconi, Bufalini, Flaborea who play for Ignis for a living. In the February 1967 Tortona stops for a long-awaited event: the Corso Garibaldi gym is inaugurated and Ignis Varese and Oransoda Cantù play there, in one of those derbies that will never leave you indifferent. We play a lot, practically everyone tries to shoot towards the basket, the Kaimani do it better than many and the protagonists are called Luigino Fassino, Peo Moccagatta, Toto Picchi and Mario Bidone who in the "big room" live years of important exploits between satin tracksuits and free throws again shot from deep. It is the prelude to the city rivalry that explodes shortly thereafter: it is the 1969 in fact, when in the legendary Barino dei portici a group of light-hearted young men decided to give life to the "Rapida Basket Club", a name chosen not by chance.

It is the reference to the quick fun and gastronomic trips, to the gypsies of our home and the twinning with Cantù provides shirts and tracksuits dressed by Fassino, by Fanzio, by Uccio Camagna, by Bidone under the presidency of Dr. Pino Rossi. On the bench Milvio Picchi doesn't "eat panettone" and Checco Beccaria leads the yellows in the First Division championship. In the same year, Derthona restarted with the Promotion championship, with Armana on the bench and Di Matteo becoming President after having recorded the Juventus record with 63 points in a clear victory in Fossano: we marched on parallel tracks until 1970-71 when Tortona experiences its first derby, in front of 400 packed spectators and it is the Bianconeri who take over the city sportingly.

In June of the same year, Rapida organized the friendly match between Cantù and Asti and the Tortona fans could admire Charlie Recalcati, the best Italian of the time as well as the man who would lead our colors to Olympic silver in Athens around thirty years after... The women's sector takes hold and Uccio Camagna is its creator and leader in the first Promotion championship but it is a double derby because basketball in skirts also sees the second local team: it is Coach Risso's Red Stone.

The gym in Corso Garibaldi is no longer enough to contain the city's enthusiasm, the structures are lacking, the funds are lacking but there is no lack of passion and talent and the promotion to Serie D marks an era: Carboni, Bertolotti, Lugano, Vittorino Rossi push us to the first time beyond regional borders, effectively opening a whole different story.

Texts taken from the book “HEART OF A LION: fifty years of basketball in Tortona” by Roberto Gabatelli – 2008


The years 1946-1962

James Naismith had arrived there a few decades earlier, precisely in 1891 in a small town in Massachusetts, one of the many Springfields that can be found in the United States. In Tortona, a ball and a pair of baskets about 3 meters high arrive only in 1946 and the Naismiths of our house are the refugees from Istria and Dalmatia, now at home in the former Passalacqua Barracks. Those who were there cannot forget the legendary "Romoletti" (from Romolo Conia) who for over a decade have represented Tortona basketball made up of mythical characters and mythical scenarios: it is naturally played outdoors, on clay and the different categories are not other than the different heights of the participants. It's a game, a "complementary" sport and the natural reference is to football so it happens that we hear about full-backs while there is someone who attacks and someone who defends, strictly separated.

Aurora, Folgore, Virtus, Intrepida are the local teams that animate the oratories because these are the years in which they play in school courtyards, in Piazza Duomo and in the Station Square and you have to wait for half of the Years' 50 to read about a Tortonese sports club, chaired by Nino Orsi, who livens up the Santa Croce fair by chasing a few basket shots.
But above all these are the years of Professor Messina and it is difficult to be contradicted by writing that the refugees brought us basketball but Nico taught it to us, that he perfected it, in short, he made us love it. He explains the game to the kids of the time and then continues and becomes "Il tigre" who discovers Meneghin, Bovone and Caglieris and who sits on one of the most prestigious benches in Italy, that of Ignis Varese with which he will be Italian Champion twice after 53 victories out of 67 races. Messina is player-coach in 1956, the year in which Derthona Basket played its first senior championship, immediately achieving promotion to the next series.

Basketball becomes less and less of a game and more and more of a sport, in America the myth of Red Auerbach and the Boston Celtics is born who win eight consecutive titles while in our home you are either Simmenthal or you are Ignis and on the Milan-Varese axis it becomes the story of a decade when in Tortona the names were those of Merlo, Soncino, Vecchietti but also of Giacomo Bidone, the first and historic President. If you are over 19m you are "long" and Piero Mecchia has class and centimeters but fate takes him away too soon, at just XNUMX years old and then it is the turn of the very young Di Matteo and Civitico.

The "Mancio" knows how to play and knows how to make people talk about himself, he becomes one of the characters that you forcefully link to a leather ball, perhaps to the nylon one stolen in Turin in one of those stories that everyone tells, everyone passes down even if no one perhaps it really was there. We move forward amidst a thousand difficulties, between the Corso Garibaldi gym still under construction, the lows of financial problems and the highs of the event in Piazza Duomo when the "red shoes" of Simmenthal arrive to celebrate the memory of Mecchia.
1958 becomes the year of grace, Derthona Basket, having obtained affiliation to the FIP, won the first Regional Student title while women also began to play, with scores that today make us smile while in 1961-62 Enrico Bovone made his debut, 207 centimeters discovered in Novi Ligure coincidentally by Messina: Bovone starts from Tortona and goes very far, in 65 matches with the blue shirt, at the Olympics in Mexico City until he becomes a flag of Mens Sana Siena with whom he ends 1975 averaging 25 points and 9 rebounds. When Bovone and Messina left for Varese, Derthona was forced to give up the championship. We are in the 1962 and some think that basketball in Tortona is already history. It won't be like that.

Texts taken from the book “HEART OF A LION: fifty years of basketball in Tortona” by Roberto Gabatelli – 2008

Gavio Group

The Gavio Group has become the main sponsor of Derthona Basket with the Bertram Yachts brand starting from the 2017/18 season. In the first year Derthona won the A2 Italian Cup in Jesi, achieving the first success in the club's history. The Bertram Yachts brand remained linked to the black and white colors even in the following years, in which the LNP Old Wild West Super Cup was won in 2019, beating Reale Mutua Torino in the final, and the Serie A2 championship in 2021, again against Reale Mutua Torino 3-2 in the playoff final of the Silver Board.

Starting from July 2021, with the transition to professionalism and the change of company name (Derthona Basket ssrl), the Gavio Group acquired 51% of the shares of the Club's share capital, becoming the controlling shareholder of the company.

HEART OF LIONS: fifty years of basketball in Tortona by Roberto Gabatelli – 2008

The evolution of the logo from the 50s to today

50 years

| Derthona Gas 58

70 years

| 70 years

80 years

| 80 years

90 years

| 90 years


| 2006

Derthona Basketball

| 2018


| 2023