Laboral Kutxa Vitoria starts the 2016-17 Turkish Airlines Euroleague ready to live up to its "Baskonia Character" motto that was more accurate than ever last 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 newborn Euroleague. Elmer Bennett and Victor Alexander led Tau to the 2000-01 Euroleague playoff finals before losing to Kinder Bologna in a do-or-die Game 5. In 2002, with Dejan Tomasevic as its new superstar, Tau won the Copa del Rey and its first Spanish League title. Luis Scola led Tau to two more Copa del Rey titles in 2004 and 2006 and the team did very well in the Euroleague too. Tau reached the Final Four for 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 final, as Maccabi, Panathinaikos 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 title 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 Laboral is always moving forward. Laboral made it to the Euroleague playoffs in 2011 and 2012 and reached the Top 16 14 times in 15 years. After a rollercoaster 2014-15 season, Laboral was ready to bounce back. With Ioannis Bourousis as its new superstar and players like Mike James, Darius Adams and Adam Hanga ready to deliver, Baskonia was indestructible at home and won 13 of its 14 games at Buesa Arena to make it to the Final Four for the first time since 2008. Fenerbahce Istanbul ended the run in the semifinals, but Adams had a shot to win the game at the end of regulation, which went in and out. Laboral reached the Spanish League and the Copa del Rey semifinals, too.
|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