Club profile: KIROLBET Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz

Jul 16, 2019 by Print

It was an important season for KIROLBET Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz with the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Final Four taking place on its home court, Fernando Buesa Arena. Baskonia had a lot of ups and downs in the 2017-18 season. A slow start caused Baskonia to part ways with head coach Pedro Martinez and bring back club legend Velimir Perasovic to replace him. Baskonia kept struggling on the road, but won 10 of its last 11 regular season games - including victories against playoff-bound teams CSKA Moscow, Panathinaikos OPAP Athens and Real Madrid - to reach the playoffs from sixth place. Baskonia managed to do something no team had done in over a decade - steal home-court advantage in a playoff series against CSKA, but the Russian powerhouse recovered with back-to-back wins at Buesa Arena to qualify for the Final Four and eventually win the title. Vincent Poirier was chosen to the All-EuroLeague Second Team. Baskonia had early exits in its two main domestic competitions; it lost against Divina Seguros Joventut Badalona in the Copa del Rey quarterfinals and against Tecynconta Zaragoza in the Spanish League quarterfinals. Expect Baskonia to be hungrier than ever with its trademark character on display in the 2019-20 season.


2018-19 EuroLeague 16-18 Playoffs
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: 457 262-195

"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 shined in 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 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 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 triumphs 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. Baskonia returned to the EuroLeague Playoffs in each of the last two seasons, in which big men Toko Shengelia (2018) and Vincent Poirier (2019) earned All-EuroLeague honors, but the team did not go past this stage. No more domestic trophies arrived, but now that Vitoria-Gasteiz got to see what hosting a Final Four is all about, the club and an entire basketball city will be ready for new challenges.

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