LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne makes its return to the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague for the first time in nearly a decade and it has the confidence of a winning season on its heels. ASVEL used a five-game winning streak in the 7DAYS EuroCup Regular Season to finish second to Valencia Basket in Group C with a 7-3 record and then another five-game run in the Top 16 to finish atop Group F. After splitting home wins in the first two games of the best-of-three quarterfinals series against MoraBanc Andorra, ASVEL hosted Game 3. The do-or-die game came down to the final seconds and when A.J. Slaughter missed from downtown at the buzzer, ASVEL's EuroCup campaign was over. Coach Zvezdan Mitrovic refocused his team on domestic action and the team lifted its first trophy of the season when it bested Le Mans 61-70 in the French Cup final in Paris in May. ASVEL then finished first at the end of the French League regular season with a 27-7 record and bested Le Mans in the quarterfinals and swept Nanterre 92 in the semis. AS Monaco was the opponent in the finals and after winning the first two games at home and losing the next two on the road, an all-or-nothing Game 5 would decide everything at Astroballe. ASVEL trailing by 8 at halftime, ASVEL started the second half on a 24-3 tear to take control, win the game and the championship. Now back in the EuroLeague, the French champs are aiming high.
ASVEL Villeurbanne was one of the first powers in the French League with 15 championships between 1949 and 1981 and has remained among its country's elite clubs for the past few decades. In the 1990s, ASVEL won several cups, made the 1997 EuroLeague Final Four and reached the French League finals in five out of six seasons. It again conquered the French League in the spring of 2002, when ASVEL roared through the playoffs and swept archrival Pau-Orthez in the finals to earn its first domestic crown in 21 years. That success carried over to the 2002-03 EuroLeague as it advanced to the Top 16. ASVEL played the EuroLeague for several seasons before making its ULEB Cup debut in 2005-06, when it reached the quarterfinals. In the 2007-08 season, ASVEL missed the ULEB Cup Last 16 by a single point and fell a victory short of reaching the French League title game. ASVEL did better in the 2008-09 season, with Vincent Collet as head coach, when it defeated Orleans in the French League final to claim the title. The triumph also secured the club a return to the EuroLeague for the 2009-10 season, but a 2-point loss in a do-or-die regular-season finale prevented ASVEL from reaching the Top 16. ASVEL bounced back the following season by edging Orleans to win the Semaine des As title, however, what ensued were five title-free seasons. ASVEL competed in the EuroCup four times in five seasons, but only in the 2011-12 campaign managed to get past the regular season. During that span, the team reached a pair of French League playoff semifinals and made one French Cup and one Semaine des As Cup semifinals appearance, but had to wait for another title until it lifted the French League crown in 2016. ASVEL entered the playoffs as the fifth-place team that season and went on to beat Elan Chalon, Monaco and eventually Strasbourg to become the French champion for the 18th time in its history. Even though it reached the Leaders Cup final in 2017, ASVEL went through a pair of trophyless campaigns, but that ended last season. ASVEL reached the EuroCup quarterfinals, beat Le Mans for the French Cup and bested Monaco for the French championship. Now the club looks to build on its winning ways as it returns to the EuroLeague.
|French National League: (19) 1948-49, 1949-50, 1951-52, 1954-55, 1955-56, 1956-57, 1963-64, 1965-66, 1967-68, 1968-69, 1970-71, 1971-72, 1974-75, 1976-77, 1980-81, 2001-02, 2008-09, 2015-16, 2018-19
|French National Cup: (9) 1953, 1957, 1965, 1967, 1996, 1997, 2001, 2008, 2019
|Semaine des As: 2010