After reaching the Eurocup semifinals in back-to-back seasons, there is no doubt that Spartak St. Petersburg is among the elite teams in the competition and a clear title contender going forward. Last season the team went undefeated in the Eurocup regular season, but faded late and went out in the quarterfinals on point difference. Spartak placed third in the Russian League regular season, but was eliminated in the eighthfinals of the VTB United League. A full season of success would be a tribute to Spartak’s rich history. Founded in 1935, Spartak is one of the oldest basketball clubs in Europe. Spartak competed in the Soviet Union championship in 1937 and overcame years of obscurity to return to the competition in 1958. It remained in that country's first division from 1960 until the end of the Soviet Union in 1991. The club enjoyed its golden age in the 1970s, starting with a third-place finish in the 1969 Soviet championship. With the late Aleksandr Belov as its superstar and players like Yuri Shtukin, Yuri Pavlov, Leonid Ivanov and Aleksandr Bolshakov complementing him, Spartak reached the 1971 Cup Winners' Cup final, but lost against Simmenthal Milano. It bounced back by lifting the trophy in 1973 and 1975 after downing Jugoplastika Split and Crvena Zvezda, respectively. Spartak also won the 1975 Soviet League and reached the final six other times between 1970 and 1978. Spartak lifted the Soviet Cup in 1987 and the CIS Championship in 1992. The club roared back from a quiet period in 2008-09 by finishing fourth in the Russian League – its highest ranking since 1993 - behind strong performances from Andrew Wisniewski and Yahor Meshcharakou. Spartak made its Eurocup debut in 2009-10, but a last-second overtime loss against Bilbao Basket prevented Spartak from reaching the Last 16. In 2010-11, Spartak reached the Russian League playoffs and the EuroChallenge final four behind the likes of Henry Domercant, Anton Ponkrashov and Patrick Beverley. Then Spartak signed Jure Zdovc as head coach plus Yotam Halperin, Loukas Mavrokefalidis and Vladimir Dragicevic among others, and reeled off 11 consecutive Eurocup wins in going all the way from the Qualifying Round to the Finals with a fantastic 15-1 record. Beverley earned 2011-12 Eurocup MVP honors and Zdovc was chosen as the Coach of the Year. Even though Spartak was knocked out in the semifinals with a close loss against BC Khimki, it became clear that a new age of winning had arrived in St. Petersburg and all signs point to it continuing indefinitely.