Asvel Basket is one of the best teams in French basketball history and it now looks to leave its mark on the Eurocup. The French powerhouse missed reaching the Eurocup Last 16 on a tiebreaker last season, but has big goals again this year. Asvel 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. Another French championship was at last conquered 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 season as Asvel 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 2007-08, Asvel missed the ULEB Cup Last 16 by a single point and fell a victory short of reaching the French League title game. In 2008-09, Asvel came out with a new look after hiring a new head coach, Vincent Collet, to run the show. Asvel shined at times in the Eurocup, including an impressive win over eventual champion Lietuvos Rytas, but wound up missing the Last 16 round on a tiebreaker. Asvel won the French League regular season and knocked off Strasbourg and Nancy to storm its way into the title game. Asvel downed Orleans in the final in Bercy to claim its 17th French League crown. The triumph also secured the club a return to the Euroleague for the 2009-10 season. Unfortunately a plague of injuries and a narrow loss in a do-or-die game against Cibona prevented Asvel from reaching the Top 16. Asvel had a slow start in the French League that kept the team away from the playoffs, but managed to lift the Semaine des As trophy by downing Orleans in the title game. Last season Asvel played well, but came up a little short in the Eurocup and reached the semifinals in the French playoffs and Cup. Now with a hungry young team and a dash of experience at key spots, this could be a special season in Villeurbanne.
French National League:
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
French National Cup:
1953, 1957, 1965, 1967, 1996, 1997, 2001, 2008
Semaine des As:
DOMESTIC LEAGUE: France