Club profile: Gran Canaria

Aug 04, 2021 by Print
Club profile: Gran Canaria

A classic team in the competition, Gran Canaria is set to start its 14th EuroCup campaign - and comes off one of its finest efforts, too. Gran Canaria reached the semifinals in 2021 for the third time in club history and hopes to keep building on such a great result to challenge for its first EuroCup crown.

Founded in 1963, Gran Canaria reached the Spanish first division in 1985, but did not gain a foothold for good until 1995-96. The club played its first Spanish League playoff game in 2000 and competed in the Korac Cup in 2001. Gran Canaria made its ULEB Cup debut in 2003-04 and got to the eighthfinals before losing to Real Madrid. It did not return to the ULEB Cup elimination rounds until 2007 when it lost in the eighthfinals against FMP. Gran Canaria enjoyed a great EuroCup season in 2009-10, but a home loss against Panellinios in a do-or-die game prevented the team from reaching the EuroCup Finals.

Great results finally arrived in the 2012-13 season, when Gran Canaria reached the Spanish Copa del Rey and the Spanish League semifinals for the first time. Another step forward came in 2013-14 when it moved to the magnificent 11,500-seat Gran Canaria Arena. The next season was one to remember as EuroCup Coach of the Year Aito Garcia Reneses and All-EuroCup center Walter Tavares led Gran Canaria to the EuroCup Finals. The team won 21 of its first 22 games, however, Khimki Moscow Region was the better team in the finals. Gran Canaria used a strong season to get back to the EuroCup Semifinals, but lost by 1 point in the two-game total-points series to eventual champion Galatasaray Istanbul. Gran Canaria lifted the Spanish SuperCup, its first title, and went back to the EuroCup playoffs in 2017, but Hapoel Jerusalem stood in its way in the quarterfinals.

Gran Canaria had a strong 2017-18 season, in which it reached the EuroCup Quarterfinals, Spanish Copa del Rey semifinals and clinched a EuroLeague berth through the Spanish League. In 2018-19, the club went 8-22 in its EuroLeague debut. Last season, Gran Canaria rallied from a 0-3 start in the Top 16 to qualify for the playoffs and eventually reach the semifinals, where it was ousted by AS Monaco. In another club first, Aleksander Balcerowski earned EuroCup Rising Star honors. Gran Canaria knows what it takes to be successful in this competition and could be among the main candidates to lift the trophy this season.