Montepaschi Siena 2008-09, team profile

Jun 09, 2008 by Euroleague.net Print
Montepaschi SienaThe future is now in Siena, Italy. Coming off a dominant season both in the Euroleague and the Italian League, Montepaschi Siena has its sights set higher than ever now with the Euroleague title as the goal. Montepaschi got accustomed quickly to major success when it reached the Final Four in its first Euroleague two seasons. The club's basketball roots reach as deeply as any in Italy. Mens Sana Basket claims it was the first Italian club to play, organize and teach basketball soon after Dr. James Naismith founded the sport in 1891. In the modern era of basketball, Siena's presence wasn't felt professionally until it entered Italy's first division in 1973. After slowly establishing itself in the Italian elite, Siena graduated to European competitions for most of the 1990s. That experience led it to make history in 2001-02 when Vrbica Stefanov, Milenko Topic and Petar Naumoski brought home the club's very first trophy, the Saporta Cup, downing Pamesa Valencia 81-71 in the title game. In its first Euroleague season, 2002-03, the club managed to clinch a last-second spot in the Top 16, then exploded to win its Top 16 group and secure an historic Final Four berth led by Michalis Kakiouzis, Mirsad Turkcan and the late Alphonso Ford. However Benetton stood in its way in the semifinals. In 2003-04, Montepaschi inked Bootsy Thornton, David Vanterpool and David Andersen and not only returned to the Final Four, but also finished a memorable season by bringing its very first Italian League title to Siena with a thrilling playoff finals sweep. Again it was an Italian League foe that denied the club a spot in the final, falling to Skipper Bologna 102-103 in overtime.
2007-08 RESULTS
Euroleague
R. Season
10-4
Top 16
4-2
Quarters
2-0
Final Four
Semis
Italian League
R. Season
31-3
Playoffs
Champion
Cup
Quarters
The club failed to make the Top 16 the following season and missed the Euroleague after that, but used the time to regroup as Rimas Kaukenas, Joseph Forte and Terrell McIntyre led the club to its second Italian championship. Last season saw Thornton return to and Ksistof Lavrinovic join the club as it recorded unprecedented success. Montepaschi established its home court as a fortress and while going 10-1 in Siena, reached its third Euroleague Final Four, becoming the only team to sweep its Quarterfinal Playoffs series along the way. Despite a 17-point second-half lead, the club faltered against Maccabi Tel Aviv and again missed the title game, but did beat Tau for third place and a top seed at the draw. Montepaschi also started the Italian season with 18 straight wins and was never challenged en route to another domestic crown. Despite that success, no one’s thirst for success is quenched and Montepaschi is looking to bigger and better results in 2008-09.