Club Profile: Morabanc Andorra

Aug 17, 2020 by Print
Club Profile: Morabanc Andorra

MoraBanc Andorra came into the 2019-20 7DAYS EuroCup with big expectations after having reached the semifinals in 2018-19. But last season didn't quite match the hopes of a repeat performance – and there was a healthy portion of heartbreak. Andorra tipped off its campaign with a loss at AS Monaco before a comfortable home opener win over ratiopharm Ulm. Andorra dropped two of its next three matchups – at Segafredo Virtus Bologna and versus Promitheas Patras – as its record fell to 2-3, but got revenge against Monaco with a blow-out home win to start a five-game winning streak. The five wins were by an average of 18.0 points and secured Andorra a 7-3 record and second place in Group A. The run ended in Top 16's first round with a 90-87 loss at Joventut Badalona despite Andorra having held a 12-point advantage early in the fourth quarter. Andorra squandered another fourth-quarter lead in a Round 2 home loss to Tofas Bursa in Round 2 and double-digit lead as Unicaja Malaga visited the principality and won in Round 3. Andorra's drought continued with a loss at Unicaja before its first Top 16 win came at home, 90-89 over Joventut, on Clevin Hannah's late three-pointer. Andorra bowed out of the competition with another tight loss, 97-94 at Tofas, for a 1-5 record in Group H. Domestically, Andorra qualified for the Spanish Copa del Rey and beat Tenerife in the quarterfinals before losing to Unicaja in the semifinals. In the Spanish League, Andorra went 9-3 at home but 4-7 on the road for a 13-10 record and sixth place in the standings when the Covid-19 pandemic postponed the season. In the subsequent season-ending tournament, Andorra went 2-3 in the group stage. Now, Andorra returns its focus to the EuroCup and hopes to re-live some of the magic from 2018-19 in the 2020-21 season.


2019-20 EuroCup 8-8 Top 16
2018-19 EuroCup 13-8 Semifinals
2017-18 EuroCup 3-7 Regular Season

TOTAL: 47 24-23

Andorra may be a small country, but it has great pride when it comes to its signature basketball team. MoraBanc Andorra La Vella was founded in 1970 as Club de Baloncesto Les Escaldes, but in just one year, it became Basquet Club Andorra, its official name for more than four decades. The club started playing in Spanish regional leagues and reached national-level competitions in 1984. In the 1985-86 season, Andorra won the Spanish third-division title and finally broke through to the first in 1992, led by Sergi Lopez, Josep Maria Margall and Ray Smith. A 73-71 win over Caceres on April 14, 1992, gave Andorra the Spanish second-division title. The team, called Festina Andorra at that time, invested well to avoid relegation problems, inking veteran playmaker Jose Luis Llorente and a pair of strong big men, Piculin Ortiz and Dan Godfread. Coached by Edu Torres, Andorra ranked 12th overall in the 1992-93 season and lost in the eighthfinals of the playoffs to Caja San Fernando. Andorra went on to have a fantastic 1993-94 season, finishing fourth at the end of the regular season with an 18-10 record. Godfread was joined by Andy Toolson, Frankie Solana – who is the team's current sports director – and Quique Villalobos. Ultimately, Orense swept Andorra in the eighthfinals. In 1994-95, Andorra qualified for the Copa del Rey for the first time and lost in the quarterfinals against Estudiantes 87-86. Led by Ricky Brown and Conner Henry, Andorra also reached the playoffs as the eighth-ranked team, but was felled by FC Barcelona. That result allowed Andorra to make its debut in European competitions in the 1995-96 Korac Cup. But that season the team did not advance past the regular season, fell back to the Spanish second division and financial issues forced Andorra to start all the way from the bottom, in the third regional division. By 2009, the team had been promoted enough times to reach the Spanish third division. It went one level up in 2012 and returned to the top Spanish League in 2014, where it has stayed ever since. After a couple of 14th-place finishes, Andorra took a big step forward in the 2016-17 season, as Giorgi Shermadini, Beqa Burjanadze and Andrew Albicy led Andorra to the Copa del Rey tournament and the Spanish League playoffs. Andorra lost against Real Madrid by a narrow margin in both competitions. With its debut in the 7DAYS EuroCup three seasons ago, Andorra was on the European basketball map and a year later, the team was ready. Albicy and Dylan Ennis were named to the All-EuroCup teams and the club downed LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne without home-court advantage in the first playoff round to reach the semifinals. ALBA Berlin stood in its way to success, but MoraBanc had made EuroCup history. In 2019-20, Andorra advanced from the regular season with a 7-3 record but lost a number of tight games in the Top 16 and was eliminated with a 1-5 record. Domestically, the club reached the Copa dey Rey semifinals for the first time and reached the season-ending playoffs tournament after picking up a 13-10 record in the regular season and sixth place when the Covid-19 pandemic postponed the season. The club will once again go into the season with high ambitions and look for EuroCup success.