Among the clubs names in modern European basketball that are synonymous with winning, that of VidiVici Virtus Bologna stands its ground as strongly as any, as it bounced back from a tough situation to return to the Euroleague next season. The basis for its success can be found in the history of Virtus, which began as a gymnastics club in 1879 and formed its first pro basketball teams in the late 1920s. Virtus consistently won championships for more than half a century. Virtus so enjoyed its first Italian title, in 1945, adding on the next three for good measure. Virtus would return to the top in Italy in 1955 and 1956, but that preceded a 20-year drought of national titles. Since then, however, the trophies have been lifted consistently, starting with four Italian League crowns between 1976 and 1984, the last coming with an Italian Cup victory for the club's first double trophy season. The second double came six years later, with an Italian Cup and the first mark made by Virtus on the European stage, the 1990 Saporta Cup, downing Real Madrid 79-74 in the title game behind an outstanding Michael Ray Richardson. The 1993 Italian League crown, the club's first in almost a decade, soon became a three-peat. A shining moment came in 1998, when Virtus won its first Euroleague crown and doubled up with another Italian League title. Players like Predrag Danilovic, Zoran Savic or Antoine Rigaudeau allowed Virtus to clain its first Euroleague title. Things got even better in 2001 as Virtus ruled wherever it played, claiming the Euroleague, the Italian League and the Italian Cup titles, a first-ever trophy triple, as well as putting together one of the best rosters ever in European basketball with Marko Jaric, Manu Ginobili, Rigaudeau, Matjaz Smodis or Rashad Griffith. Virtus made it four trophies in a row winning the 2002 Italian Cup, but lost in the Euroleague final and the Italian League playoff semifinals that season. The club came up empty handed both domestically and in the Euroleague in the 2002-03 season, although it did qualify for the Top 16. Virtus underwent deep financial troubles and had to merge with FuturVirtus Castelmaggiore in the Italian second division to avoid disappearing. Virtus return to its domestic elite the year after, backed by thousands of diehard fans, and made it to the Italian League playoffs last season after a five-year absence. Virtus knocked off Biella and Lottomatica Roma before losing the title series against an unstoppable Montepaschi Siena. Last season, the club also returned to European competitions, making it to the FIBA EuroCup final four. As it looks to the future, the proud club is rededicated honoring its past by conquering more trophies in the future.