segunda-feira, 3 de setembro de 2012
Eurobasket 1938 - Italy wins on debut
Luis Cristóvão looks back to the first International Women’s Basketball Tournament. It was 1938, in Italy.
1938 was the year of the first European championship women’s basketball, three years after the men’s tournament. On the eve of World War II, five countries met in Rome to compete for a Cup that attracted the attention of the press, as a sign of the interest on women’s sport.
Italy, the host country, also benefited from the fact that a national competition have been played in the country for a few years already. The best players were chosen among several clubs from their National League. In the very first game, Italy tried to prove their favouritism, beating France by 34-18, while Poland beat Lithuania by 24-21.
The first surprise came early as the second day of competition, with the Lithuanian overruling the home team by 23-21, leaving some doubts about the ability of Italian to win the title in their own country. However, the winning on the following day, against Poland, 27-19, the Italian confirmed the first place, having just to fulfil their obligation in the last game, dominating Switzerland by 58-8. Incidentally, the Swiss were the weakest team in the competition, finishing without any victory.
The league table was thus marked by balance, with three teams with the same points, with Italy taking advantage in the games played between them, to win the title. In the competition’s history were the names of the players who won this title, the first Eurobasket that would have to wait twelve years (with a terrible war in the middle) so that it could carry out the second edition. But then, Europe was a very different continent.