Club profile: Limoges CSP

Jul 01, 2014 by Print
Alex Acker, Limoges (photo: Limoges CSP)
Limoges CSPIn just a decade, Limoges CSP has gone from the third division to its 10th French League title and now will compete in the Euroleague for the first time since 1998. Limoges, coached by Jean-Marc Dupraz and led by Nobel Boungou Colo, Adrien Moerman and Alex Acker, simply did everything right. The club ranked second after the French League regular season and downed Asvel Basket, JDA Dijon and Strasbourg to conquer the title. It was an impressive achievement for a club that won the Euroleague in 1993, but was relegated to the French third division in 2004. Founded in 1929, Limoges Cercle Saint-Pierre spent half a century competing at the regional and local levels until it reached the French elite in 1978. By 1982, led by Richard Dacoury, Apollo Faye and Ed Murphy, Limoges conquered the French Cup and made its debut in European competitions - and did so in style. Limoges won the 1982 Korac Cup by beating Drazen Petrovic's Sibenka Sibenik 90-84 in the title game behind 35 points from Murphy. Both teams returned to the Korac Cup final in 1983 and Limoges prevailed again, 94-86. Murphy shined again with 34 points. Soon a great sporting rivalry arose with Pau-Orthez; each club would win nine French League titles between 1983 and 2004. Limoges won its first French championship in 1983 and successfully defended it in 1984 and 1985. Limoges made its Euroleague debut in 1984 and stayed fully competitive at home, lifting three consecutive French League trophies between 1988 and 1990. More success came in continental competitions, as Limoges won the Saporta Cup in 1988 after defeating Joventut Badalona 94-86 in overtime. Don Collins, Stephane Ostrowski and Clarence Kea combined for 73 points in the championship game. The best, however, was yet to come. Limoges made it to the 1990 Euroleague Final Four, but lost against soon-to-be champion Jugoplastika Split. Bozidar Maljkovic took over as head coach before the start of the 1992-93 season and everything clicked. Michael Young, Jure Zdovc and Frederic Forte – who has been the club's president for over a decade – led Limoges back to the Final Four, where it played the underdog role to perfection. Limoges defeated Real Madrid and Benetton Treviso to become the only French team to win the Euroleague. Limoges won the French League that season, claimed a double – league and cup titles – in 1994, before getting back to the Euroleague Final Four in 1995. Head coach Dusko Ivanovic led Limoges to another outstanding season, winning three titles – French League, French Cup and Korac Cup – in 2000 with Marcus Brown and Yann Bonato as its own superstars. Financial and legal troubles took Limoges to the third division four years later. The club climbed back to the second division in 2006 and returned to the elite in 2010 – for one year only. But Limoges came back to the French League in 2012 and quickly lived up to its old standards by winning the title last season and qualifying to the 2014-15 Turkish Airlines Euroleague. With great tradition and a fan base growing every year, Limoges has enjoyed a meteoric rise and is back to stay.
French League: Champion
Leaders Cup: Quarterfinalist