In just a quarter-century of existence, Unics Kazan has firmly entrenched itself as a regional force and rising European power. Founded in 1991, Unics became the perfect ambassador for the sports-crazy Republic of Tatarstan in the Russian Federation. The club already reached the Russian League finals in 2001 and 2002, the year in which it also made it to the Saporta Cup semifinals. Its hard work paid off in 2003, when Unics edged CSKA Moscow in overtime to lift the Russian Cup. In 2004, Kazan was home to the FIBA Europe League final four and Unics made the most of it by downing Maroussi to win its first continental title. Unics made its ULEB Cup debut in the 2005-06 season and already reached the semifinals the following year before losing against Real Madrid. Unics also reached the 2008 ULEB Cup Final Eight. Everything clicked in the 2010-11 Eurocup as Unics thrashed Cedevita Zagreb in the semifinals and bested Cajasol Sevilla in the championship game to take the crown. Marko Popovic amassed 18 points and 11 assists to earn Finals MVP honors. Unics made its Euroleague debut a successful one in the 2011-12 campaign by going all the way to the playoffs and returned to the Eurocup a year later, but lost to Valencia in the quarterfinals and finished that season with a 10-4 record. The team made up for that early exit the next season; Unics reached the Eurocup Finals sporting a 20-2 record, which helped Andrew Goudelock earn Eurocup MVP honors and Andrea Trinchieri to be chosen as the Eurocup Coach of the Year. However, Valencia again stopped Unics’s march to the title. Unics bounced back by lifting the Russian Cup trophy and reaching the VTB League semifinals. The 2014-15 saw Unics back in the Euroleague. After it narrowly missed reaching the Top 16 despite a historic win over eventual champ Real Madrid in the Spanish capital, Keith Langford and co. made another deep Eurocup run and reached the semifinals, though a Spanish side was again its kryptonite; Herbalife Gran Canaria Las Palmas swept their two game series. Last season saw an unexpected early exit from the Eurocup, but Unics played into June by reaching the VTB United League finals before losing 3-1 to reigning Turkish airlines Euroleague champion CSKA. Now back in the Euroleague, Unics aims to prove that it belongs with the very best.
|FIBA Europe League: 2003-04
|Russian National Cup: 2003, 2009, 2014