Club profile: MoraBanc Andorra

Aug 17, 2021 by Eurocupbasketball.com Print
Club profile: MoraBanc Andorra

MoraBanc Andorra made its third straight appearance in the 7DAYS EuroCup Top 16 last season as it continued to establish itself as a rising power in the competition. Even though Andorra is a small country, it has great pride in 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.

Once in the top flight, the team, called Festina Andorra at that time, placed 12th in its debut 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. 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. The team 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 2016-17 when 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.

Andorra debuted in the EuroCup in 2017-18. The following season, it started making noise. 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 history. Andorra reached the Copa del Rey semifinals for the first time in 2020. The club will once again go into the season with high ambitions and looking for EuroCup success.