Among the main points of interest of the match scheduled for Saturday evening at the “Lino Oldrini” Palasport between Openjobmetis Varese and Umana Reyer Venezia, teams that occupy the same position in the standings after six days of Serie A UnipolSai 2022/23 by virtue of the four victories and two knockouts recorded so far, the challenge in the family between the De Nicolao brothers is undoubtedly to be counted.
Andrea, with the shirt of the lagoon formation, and Giovanni (among the ranks of the Lombard team) tomorrow, in fact, will find themselves against each other and will both try to give a tangible contribution to their teams to further improve their placement in ranking.
It will not be the first time that the two brothers, born five years apart, will face each other as opponents: apart from the matches played on the small pitch at a young age, at the level of official matches in the top Italian championship Andrea (in Varese, among other things , from 2012 to 2014) and Giovanni challenged each other on four occasions between the 2020/21 and 2021/22 seasons, achieving two successes each.
The fifth confrontation on stage tomorrow, therefore, will tip the balance in favor of one or the other but will not change the solid link between the two.
“I’m happy if he does well but, obviously, I’m less happy if he does it against me. So, if, for example, he scores 20 points on Saturday, I’ll be very happy but only if we win in the end. Trash talking between us in the game we never did. The first year we played against, however, we made a bet, that is, whoever lost would have the garden at home: I lost and it was my turn” said the red and white bearer in the last episode of the Valley-Oop podcast, the official talk show of the Pallacanestro Varese to which the 1996 class then explained well how the passion for basketball was managed and conveyed in the family.
“My father coached me, Francesco and Andrea from when we were four until we were 16 (Andrea), 17 (Francesco) and 18 (me) and he was very good at never putting pressure. After our games he has always been our father not a coach, he didn’t scold us about what we did wrong. It’s a very difficult thing, even today I see parents who press their children too much instead of letting them do what they want”.
With his example, Giovanni and Andrea arrived on the stage of Serie A at the same time, a championship where this year Varese has already shown very interesting things.
“Our secret right now is the team. We are very united, friends off the pitch but in training we give each other a lot. The nice thing is this, or that we really manage to separate the moments in which we joke from those in which we are serious”.
Giovanni then, someone who enjoys playing golf in his free time (“On my day off, if it’s a good day, I try to play golf, I’m getting passionate also thanks to Toto Bulgheroni. It’s something that relaxes me, I’m outdoors and I like it a lot”) and musical instruments (“I play many things but really none well. I also had two bands, one was called Scribbles Of Society and the other XXL, we also did some concerts”), is experiencing the his third year in Varese within an environment and a training in which he managed to grow even following an important figure.
“I’m happy, it’s my third year here and, despite the difficulties of the first two years, I feel very good. I was very lucky with Scola, she helped me from the very first days. At the beginning it was difficult for me to think about playing with him. I remember once at the end of training, while I was untying my shoes, he told me to go with him and we started doing shooting exercises which we then repeated for the whole year at the end of each training session. A good relationship has been created with him” revealed De Nicolao, ready to put the Argentine’s teachings to good use in the challenge against Reyer and his brother Andrea on Saturday evening.