Azzurre Flavour For Schio

15 October 2007
Anyone who shows up at the PalaCampagnola in Schio, Italy, to watch basketball might have a flashback to this summer, when the country hosted the EuroBasket Women.

That's because Beretta-Famila Schio have four members of the Azzurre team that thrilled the crowds with wins over Greece and Serbia, respectively.

Raffaella Masciadri, Federica Ciampoli, Laura Macchi and Kathrin Ress all played in the Italian side that was on the verge of advancing to the quarter-finals before falling hard to Belarus in their final qualifying round game.
It's a good team, and I'm ready for the new adventure
Kathrin Ress

That disappointment aside, Schio's fabulous Italian four showed that they have the quality to help Schio go deep into this year's EuroCup Women.

Schio's league season gets underway this weekend in Italy, and they will start playing in Europe after the elimination round.

"So far, so good, definitely," Ress says, speaking to FIBA Europe, when asked how things were shaping up for Schio.

"We're looking good, even though we've only had a couple of days to get ready. We've had to cram.

"But I'm excited to have joined the team, I was here before going to the United States five years ago. It's a good team, and I'm ready for the new adventure."

The word adventure is one Ress will be familiar with.

Because she was tall, she left home even before her teenage years to play basketball in Parma.

"It's because I was tall," she says.

"It was tough being away from home at first, but I'm glad I did it."

That would pave the way for even bigger things, like a move to America where she played high school basketball in West Virginia before competing for Boston College for four years.

Ress also spent a season in the WNBA, playing 28 games with the Minnesota Lynx, before travelling home this year to play in the EuroBasket and then with Schio.

She has some of the same teammates at Schio, but of course a different coach.

With Italy, she worked under Gianni Lambruschi while at Schio, her boss is Sandro Orlando.

"There is a change in style," she says. "This one will fit our team better.

"I'm excited to watch us play and be a part of this team."

There is another big difference.

Unlike the EuroBasket, where Italy played all of their games in Chieti or Ortona on the Adriatic, she says: "We'll have to travel."

As far as Schio's chances go in the EuroCup, their first game is scheduled for November 7 against Extrugasa.

"I know the girls," Ress says. "I think in time, we'll get better."

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