Turkish Airlines Euroleague
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2011-12 Team Profile: Caja Laboral
Caja Laboral is one of the Turkish Airlines Euroleague’s true powerhouses, an ambitious club with a winning history that enters every new season with lofty goals. The team comes off a season in which it won its Top 16 group and reached the Quarterfinal Playoffs for the seventh consecutive time - a new Euroleague record – but nonetheless Laboral missed out on reaching its first Final Four since 2008. Saski Baskonia was founded in 1959 and started playing in Spain's first division in the 1970s, however the club's first trophy did not come until 1995, when Velimir Perasovic led the team to the Spanish King's Cup. Baskonia reached the Saporta Cup final in 1994 and 1995 and finally lifted that trophy in 1996 by downing PAOK Thessaloniki 88-81 behind 31 points from Ramon Rivas. The club, then called Tau Ceramica, reached its first Spanish League finals in 1998 and added a second Spanish King's Cup 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 do-or-die Game 5. In 2002 with Dejan Tomasevic as its new superstar, Tau won the Spanish King's Cup and its first Spanish League title. Luis Scola led Tau to two more King's Cups 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 to 2008. In 2005, Tau upset favored host CSKA Moscow in the semifinals, but couldn't overcome defending champ Maccabi in the title game. It was its 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 King's Cup title in 2009 before changing its name to Caja Laboral. In 2009-10, Laboral conquered a third Spanish League title by sweeping Regal FC Barcelona on a memorable series-winning three-point play by Fernando San Emeterio. The fact that Laboral is only team that has reached the Euroleague playoffs in each season since the phase was introduced in 2004-05 says plenty about its competitiveness and mentality – which is well-known in Vitoria as “Baskonia character.” Rest assured that Laboral will be ready for another attempt to win that elusive, first-ever Euroleague title this seasons.
Fernando San Emeterio
Fernando San Emeterio
Thursday, July 28, 2011
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Caja Laboral re-signs two-time All-Euroleague forward Nocioni
Caja Laboral signs Golubovic at center
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Caja Laboral, Williams part ways
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