Franca tries to maintain hegemony in the NBB, but São Paulo is a strong rival – 05/26/2023 – Sports
Franca and São Paulo decide, starting this weekend, the 2022/23 edition of Novo Basquete Brasil. The team from what is considered the capital of basketball is the current champion, arrives with court command to defend the title and has the tricolor formation of São Paulo as a strong challenger.
The final of the national championship will be played in a best-of-five series, broadcast by TV Cultura, ESPN and SporTV. The games will also be shown on the NBB profile on YouTube and on the NBA app, in partnership with the North American league. The dispute will start on Saturday (27), at 3 pm, at the Pedrocão gym, in Franca.
In the current season, Franca broke the Brazilian basketball unbeaten record, which had been established by COC Ribeirão Preto, between 2002 and 2003, with 43 straight victories.
For the first time in the history of the NBB, which is in its 15th edition, a team went through the entire qualifying phase without any defeat. The team from the interior of São Paulo beat each opponent twice, finishing with an expressive 32 triumphs.
Winner of Campeonato Paulista and BCLA (Basketball Champions League Americas, a kind of basketball Libertadores), accumulated 46 consecutive victories.
Winning in sport undoubtedly brings confidence, but there are those who say that it is good to bleed during the qualifying period to build resistance, learn to win again and create a feeling of alertness for the decisive phase, facing a possible elimination.
The squad led by Helinho Garcia arrived without scars and, pardon the pun, entered as clear favorites in the knockout phase of the Brazilian championship. But he found two teams ready to play as shooters and in order to thwart the plans of the French second championship.
There were two series of “playoffs” –against Unifacisa, from Campina Grande, in the quarterfinals, and against Minas, in the semifinals– won by 3-2. last quarter of game 5 in both rounds.
The team from the interior of São Paulo suffered an average of almost 90 points from the challengers (88.1 points suffered per game), but, even with similar games and uncomfortable situations, they had no problems scoring. Playing collectively in the attack, he averaged 20 assists per game and, with an impressive fire potential, scored an average of 92.9 points per game in the “playoffs”.
São Paulo already demonstrates excellent planning. In basketball, the glories are not only of the past, since, since returning to the national basketball elite, the Morumbi club has reached the top four in all the championships it has played.
In just over four years of project, he has already been champion of Paulista and BCLA and reaches his second NBB final.
This season, he ranked third. In the “playoffs”, after having beaten Pinheiros in the quarterfinals (3 to 1), even without the man of the court, he swept the owner of the second best campaign and biggest winner in the history of the NBB, Flamengo, by 3 to 0 .
Basketball is a game that is played on both sides of the court, and the team led by Bruno Mortari has been securing itself in defense. It lost only one game and won six games in the knockout stage, taking an average of 71.6 points per game.
The game of the best attack against the best defense is being designed. But to reduce the two top-level teams to these labels would be frivolous.
Franca reaches another NBB final because it kept the entire 2021/22 winning base. The famous “big three” formed by Georginho, Lucas Dias and Lucas Mariano continues to unbalance the championship. The three, leaders in league efficiency statistics, are the only three candidates for MVP (most valuable player). In the “playoffs”, they demonstrated their power and scored more than 50% of the points of the Franca team in all the games.
It has a support squad that knows how to play its part in the team, complements the stars in an exquisite way in the attack and raises the level of defensive intensity on the court.
This squad includes experienced American winger David Jackson, who is excellent on both sides of the court and has already been named NBB MVP. Also noteworthy is the young prospect Márcio, center forward, who, coming off the bench, always causes a lot of impact with good dunks and close-to-the-ring finishes. He also has great one-on-one defense, good coverage and time on the ball for blocks. This year, he is one of only two Brazilians enrolled in the NBA Draft, the league’s freshman recruiting system in the United States.
With a super talented cast, Helinho Garcia’s team plays and lets play. It takes a lot of points, but still no one has managed to come up with a strategy to stop the “steel roller”, as the city’s fans call the team.
São Paulo has resilience power. He lost the MVP of the 2021/22 season, Bruno Caboclo, who is now in Germany, and played a good part of the season without three of his stars (Marquinhos, Shamell and Tyrone, injured). Even so, he managed to remain among the first. He adapted, created shell and developed a very well posted defense with good reads and a lot of aggression.
But it’s not just the defense that deserves attention, the tricolor has a lot of talent in the other half court. Winger Marquinhos, who was away for most of the season due to knee surgery, is back in great shape and at 38 years old continues to be lavish in defining the moves.
The biggest winner in the history of the NBB (six times champion, as well as Olivinha, from Flamengo) is a declared São Paulo player and has that extra motivation in trying to win another title, now wearing the shirt of his favorite team.
Coach Bruno Mortari usually gets great performances from his athletes and, in the absence of the star during the qualifying phase, gave a lot of morale to the North American forward Malcolm Miller. Who, after leaving Corinthians for Morumbi’s rival, was the NBB’s record holder for converted three-point balls (125 long-distance balls in 36 games, with a 45% success rate this season).
The squad still has possibly the best pair of point guards in the league: Élinho Corazza, named best point guard of the 2021/22 season and current leader in assists (7.4 passes to basket), and Corderro Bennett, named best defender last season and current scorer for the tricolor in the “playoffs”, with an average of 16.1 points per game and 59% success rate.
The NBB knockout level has never been so high, with very high scores, many plastic moves and series being decided in the final seconds.
Now, there is the attraction of an unprecedented final between Franca and São Paulo. Last season, the two teams met in the semifinals, with a 3-1 victory by Franca, who later beat Flamengo in the very final.
Both teams deserve to be valued for the level of basketball they have reached, but in sport, history is told by those who win.
There have only been five champions in 13 full NBB seasons – the 2020 season was cut short because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Flamengo has seven titles, and Brasília accumulated three. Bauru, Paulistano and Franca each have a cup.
Franca tries to maintain the hegemony and conquer the bi. São Paulo has already shown that it is big since it returned to the Brazilian basketball scene. Now, he wants to show that he is the first among the big ones.
- Game 1 – May 27 (Sat) – 3pm – Pedrocão (France)
- Game 2 – May 31 (Wed) – 8pm – Morumbi (Sao Paulo)
- Game 3 – June 3 (Sat) – 3pm – Morumbi (Sao Paulo)
- Game 4* – June 8 (Thursday) – 5:30 pm – Pedrocão (France)
- Game 5* – June 10 (Sat) – 3pm – Pedrocão (France)