LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne is set to play its second consecutive Turkish Airlines EuroLeague season for the first time since 2005. ASVEL will try to make the most out of the experience gained in the 2019-20 season before the competition was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Led by David Lighty, Tonye Jekiri and Theo Maledon, ASVEL won its first four home games against powerhouses Olympiacos Piraeus, Panathinaikos OPAP Athens, KIROLBET Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz and CSKA Moscow and added a road win in Belgrade for a 5-3 record. It didn't last long, however. Even though ASVEL won five more games as Astroballe, the French powerhouse did not win again on the road and had a 10-18 record when the EuroLeague was canceled. In domestic competitions, ASVEL had a 21-4 record to match AS Monaco and JDA Dijon for the best record in the French League. It made it to the Leaders Cup final where it lost to Dijon 69-77. ASVEL hopes to use its recent experience to be even more competitive on all fronts in the 2020-21 season.
ASVEL Villeurbanne was one of the first powers in the French League with 15 championships between 1949 and 1981 and has remained among its country's elite clubs for the past few decades. In the 1990s, ASVEL won several cups, made the 1997 EuroLeague Final Four and reached the French League finals in five out of six seasons. It again conquered the French League in the spring of 2002, when ASVEL roared through the playoffs and swept archrival Pau-Orthez in the finals to earn its first domestic crown in 21 years. That success carried over to the 2002-03 EuroLeague as it advanced to the Top 16. ASVEL played the EuroLeague for several seasons before making its ULEB Cup debut in 2005-06, when it reached the quarterfinals. In the 2007-08 season, ASVEL missed the ULEB Cup Last 16 by a single point and fell a victory short of reaching the French League title game. ASVEL did better in 2008-09 when, with Vincent Collet as head coach, it defeated Orleans in the French League final to claim the title. The triumph also secured the club a return to the EuroLeague for the 2009-10 season, but a 2-point loss in a do-or-die regular-season finale prevented ASVEL from reaching the Top 16. ASVEL bounced back the following season by edging Orleans to win the Semaine des As title, however, what ensued were five title-free seasons. ASVEL competed in the EuroCup four times in five seasons, but only in the 2011-12 campaign managed to get past the regular season. During that span, the team reached a pair of French League playoff semifinals and made one French Cup and one Semaine des As Cup semifinals appearance, but had to wait for another title until it lifted the French League crown in 2016. ASVEL entered the playoffs as the fifth-place team that season and went on to beat Elan Chalon, Monaco and eventually Strasbourg to become the French champion for the 18th time in its history. Even though it reached the Leaders Cup final in 2017, ASVEL went through a pair of trophyless campaigns, but that ended in 2018-19. That season, ASVEL reached the EuroCup quarterfinals, beat Le Mans for the French Cup and bested Monaco for the French championship. ASVEL reached the Leaders Cup final in the 2019-20 campaign, and even though it pleased its fans with nine home wins in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague, that was not enough to be close to the playoff zone. Its young and ambitious core of players will be ready for more in the 2020-21 season, as ASVEL takes the steps to be as competitive as possible.