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Giovanni Petrucci
ITA - Petrucci takes Italian job

ROME (FIP) - Italian basketball experienced an important change over the weekend, though one that everyone should feel comfortable with.

Giovanni Petrucci was elected president of the country's basketball federation again at the 44th General Assembly of the Italian Basketball Federation (FIP).

Petrucci held the post for a couple of terms (1992-99) before serving as president of the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) the last 14 years.

Among his comments upon taking on the position again, Petrucci paid tribute to his predecessor, Italian basketball legend Dino Meneghin.

Petrucci called the inspirational Meneghin "a good president and one who has given so much to basketball at the time that was perhaps the most difficult at all levels."

Italian basketball has done well under Meneghin since he moved into the position in 2008 and was elected for a full term the following year, yet it still faces numerous challenges, including some made more difficult because of the world economic crisis.

"I want to say immediately that I will not be the savior of the fatherland," Petrucci said.

"I have read many positive articles about me but I'm not the hero coming to save basketball."

Petrucci did say that he and his colleagues, the Federal Council and all members of the (Italian basketball) movement will work hard to revive "this wonderful sport".

The 67-year-old will hold the position for four years.

Italy's senior teams will be looking to make their mark in international competition this year.

The men, who went unbeaten in qualifying (8-0) for EuroBasket 2013 in Slovenia, will play in the Final Round 4-22 September, hoping to qualify for next year's FIBA Basketball World Cup in Spain.

Before then, the Italians will be at the EuroBasket Women in France in Group B with Russia, Sweden and Spain.

That event tips of 15 June, and the Azzurre will be hoping to qualify for the 2014 FIBA World Championship for Women in Turkey.


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