2018-19 Team Profile: KIROLBET Baskonia Vitoria Gasteiz

Jul 31, 2018 by Euroleague.net Print
2018-19 Team Profile: KIROLBET Baskonia Vitoria Gasteiz

The usual high standards were maintained at KIROLBET Baskonia Vitoria Gasteiz last season, as the Spanish club advanced to the playoffs for the third consecutive year and put up a major fight against Fenerbahce Istanbul before falling in four games. None of that was looking likely when the Basque club suffered a shocking start, losing its first four games to signal the departure from the coaching position of club legend Pablo Prigioni. The man appointed to turn things around was Pedro Martinez, who immediately effected a remarkable revival as Baskonia won four of its next five games to ignite its challenge. A mid-season dip left the side in the bottom half of the standings heading into the final few weeks of the regular season, but then came a dramatic surge in form that yielded six consecutive victories, with the consistent excellence of versatile big man Toko Shengelia earning him the monthly MVP award for March. A top half finish was sealed with a home win over Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv in Round 29, and although disappointment followed against Fenerbahce, that playoff berth was a just reward for Baskonia’s typically spirited recovery from its slow start. The team was also highly competitive on the domestic front, earning a second place finish in the Spanish League after pushing Real Madrid hard in the finals and the club’s loyal band of fans again have plenty to look forward to. /p>


2017-18 EuroLeague 17-17 Playoffs
2016-17 EuroLeague 17-16 Playoffs
2015-16 EuroLeague 18-11 Semifinals
2014-15 EuroLeague 11-13 Top 16
2013-14 EuroLeague 11-13 Top 16
2012-13 EuroLeague 13-15 Playoffs
2011-12 EuroLeague 5-5 Regular Season
2010-11 EuroLeague 10-10 Playoffs
2009-10 EuroLeague 11-9 Playoffs
2008-09 EuroLeague 14-7 Playoffs
2007-08 EuroLeague 16-9 Semifinals
2006-07 EuroLeague 20-4 Semifinals
2005-06 EuroLeague 18-7 Semifinals
2004-05 EuroLeague 13-11 Runner-up
2003-04 EuroLeague 13-7 Top 16
2002-03 EuroLeague 11-9 Top 16
2001-02 EuroLeague 13-7 Top 16
2000-01 EuroLeague 15-7 Runner-up
TOTAL: 246-177


"Baskonia Character" is the motto that this club lives by and continues to strive for every season. Saski Baskonia was founded in 1959 and started playing in Spain's first division in the 1970s. The club's first trophy did not come until 1995 when Velimir Perasovic led the team to the Spanish Copa del Rey. Vitoria also reached the Saporta Cup finals in 1994 and 1995 and finally lifted that trophy in 1996 after downing PAOK Thessaloniki behind 31 points from Ramon Rivas. The club, then called Tau Ceramica, reached its first Spanish League finals in 1998 and added a second Copa del Rey title in 1999. The turn of the century led to instant success in the EuroLeague. Elmer Bennett and Victor Alexander led Tau to the 2001 EuroLeague playoff finals before losing to Kinder Bologna in a do-or-die Game 5. In 2002, with Dejan Tomasevic as its new star, Tau won the Copa del Rey and its first Spanish League championship. Luis Scola led Tau to Copa del Rey titles in 2004 and 2006 and the team did well in the EuroLeague too. Tau reached the Final Four in four consecutive seasons, from 2005 through 2008. In 2005, Tau upset favored host CSKA Moscow in the semifinals, but couldn't overcome defending champ Maccabi Elite Tel Aviv in the championship game. It proved to be the team’s last EuroLeague title game, as Maccabi, Panathinaikos Athens and CSKA stopped Tau in the semifinals from 2006 to 2008. The club bounced back to win its second Spanish League title in 2008 by downing Barcelona in the finals behind an outstanding Pete Mickeal. Tau added another Copa del Rey in 2009 before changing its name to Caja Laboral – which became Laboral Kutxa late in the 2012-13 season. In 2010, Laboral conquered a third Spanish League championship by sweeping Barcelona on a memorable series-winning three-point play by Fernando San Emeterio. There have not been any more titles since, but the fact that Fernando Buesa Arena was expanded to 15,504 seats and the many initiatives the club continues to put into practice show that Baskonia is always moving forward. The club reached the EuroLeague Playoffs in 2011 and 2012 and reached the Top 16 14 times in 15 years. After a stellar 2015-16 season that marked its return to the Final Four, the team managed to rack up to 17 wins in the new regular season format before suffering a series sweep against CSKA in the playoffs. And despite much upheaval at the start of the 2017-18 season, with club icon Pablo Prigioni lasting only four games as head coach before being replaced by Pedro Martinez, Baskonia again moved into the playoffs with considerable help from All-EuroLeague big man Toko Shengelia. A playoff loss to Fenerbahce saw the season end with frustration, but with the Fernando Buesa Arena set to host the 2019 Final Four, the club’s motivation has never been higher as it prepares to mount another strong challenge.

Trophy Case

Saporta Cup: 1996
Spanish National League: 2002, 2008, 2010
Spanish National Cup "Copa del Rey": 1995, 1999, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2009
Spanish Supercup "Supercopa": 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008