FIBA Intercontinental Cup - Team in Focus: San Lorenzo
RIO DE JANEIRO - In the buildup to the FIBA Intercontinental Cup taking place in Rio de Janeiro from February 15-17, we take a look at each of the four participating teams.
Here, we profile San Lorenzo de Almagro, who take part after winning the 2018 DIRECTV Liga de las Americas. The famous club from Buenos Aries, whose history dates back to 1935, has in recent years been the most dominant team in Argentina.
Players to Watch Out For
The 30-year-old is a big name in Argentina, where he was the league (LNB)'s MVP during the 2016-17 campaign while on the books of Estudiantes Concordia. The 6ft 4in (1.93m) guard, who plays for Jordan's national team and featured in the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Asian Qualifiers, played a vital role for San Lorenzo in their Liga de las Americas-winning campaign, pouring in 15 points in the 79-71 triumph over Mogi Das Cruzes in the Final.
Another former MVP of Argentina's LNB (in 2015 while a player of Quimsa), Aguirre joined San Lorenzo in 2015 and has provided a steady hand in the backcourt. The 6ft 3in (1.89m) combo-guard narrowly missed a triple-double in last year's Liga de las Americas Final with 11 points, 9 assists and 9 rebounds. He has been with San Lorenzo for all the good times, playing a significant role in their title-winning campaigns since 2016.
The Canada international has experienced a lot of highs as a player, including winning NBA titles with the Miami Heat in 2012 and 2013. He also played for the Boston Celtics, Detroit Pistons and San Antonio Spurs in an NBA career that spanned more than a decade. With San Lorenzo, the 6ft 9in (2.06m) center was a big part of their LNB and Liga de las Americas double-winning campaign last year. In the title defense of the latter, Anthony averaged 8.3 points, 8 rebounds and 2 blocks in the three recent victories over Mogi Das Cruzes, San Martin de Corrientes and CD Las Animas.
Team's All-Time Greats
A member of his country's golden generation, Hermmann represented Argentina when the country won gold at the 2004 Olympics in Athens. That was three years after he scooped his first LNB MVP honor while a player of Atenas, the same club he claimed the award with again in 2014. In between, including the Olympic gold medal, Herrmmann had a lot of highs, including an NBA run from 2006 to 2009 in the NBA when he suited up for the Charlotte Bobcats (now Hornets) and Detroit Pistons. Hermman was the MVP of San Lorenzo's first LNB Final triumph (2016) in his one season (2015-16) with the club.
Another Argentina international, Deck was the MVP of San Lorenzo's 2016-17, and 2017-18 LNB Finals triumphs. He also earned the distinction of LNB MVP last season (2017-18), when he also helped fire the club to its Liga de las Americas triumph. Deck poured in 22 points in the Final and averaged 19.1 points per game in the competition.
The origins of the club known as The Cathedral of Basketball date back to the 1930s when the club launched the sport. On March 19, 1937, San Lorenzo was one of the nine clubs that established the Asociación de Basket-ball de Buenos Aires (Buenos Aires Basket-ball Association).
In 1942, they achieved their first title at Campeonato Oficial (Official Championship), with outstanding figures Francisco Del Río —an idol of the time —Alfredo Belli and Armando Bo —who later became a prominent movie director.
The second title in the Official Championship came in 1946, with a Dream Team for the times. In addition to Del Rio and Bello were José Biggi, the first undisputed star of Argentinian basketball, as well as Salvador Capece, Alberto Trama, Jaime Pérez, Héctor Romagnolo and Armando Rossi.
Asociación Buenos Aires San Lorenzo claimed 12 titles at Torneo Oficial from 1942 to 1973. During that period, in 1951, San Lorenzo played against The Harlem Globetrotters, at the Estadio Luna Park, in Buenos Aires.
San Lorenzo had numerous players that featured for Argentina's national teams in that era, including Edgar Parizzia, Carlos Vassino, Juan Ruggia, Herberto Fagnani, Dante Masolini, Gustavo Aguirre, Juan De la Cruz (who later attained the Spanish nationality and the Silver Olympic Medal in 1984), Claudio Villanueva and Daniel Pace.
Erio Cassettai, Oscar Visciglia, Carlos Perroni, Carlos Perales, Norberto Pacheco, Abel Rojas and Mario Benítez are also among the beloved players of San Lorenzo.
San Lorenzo has probably garnered more attention in recent times than at any point in the club's history. This comes as no surprise considering their run of three consecutive domestic titles, and their run to be crowned DIRECTV Liga de las Americas champions last year. So far this season, they have claimed victories in all 11 games and their defense of the Liga de las Americas crown also got off to a great start as they beat Mogi Das Cruzes (103-78), San Martin de Corrientes (71-59) and CD Las Animas (93-70) in early February to seal their place in the Semi-Finals.