Laboral Kutxa marks 300th Euroleague game Friday

Mar 20, 2014 by Print
Laboral Kutxa marks 300th Euroleague game Friday
Baskonia, 300 games

This Friday marks a historic trip for Laboral Kutxa Vitoria, as the club is set to become the second in the Turkish Airlines Euroleague to reach 300 games played this century when it tips off against Olympiacos Piraeus at Peace and Friendship Stadium in Piraeus, Greece. The milestone will make for a memorable Euroleague night, one of many over a span of 14 seasons in Europe’s premier club competition. Until tonight, the parent club Saski Baskonia has won 180 of its Euroleague 299 games with its team playing under three different sponsors' names - Tau Ceramica, Caja Laboral and the current Laboral Kutxa. Those 299 victories are the fifth-most wins of any Euroleague team this century, during which Baskonia has never missed an appearance in the competition.

Baskonia started the century by reaching new heights as a finalist in the first edition of the competition, in 2000-01, when Tau Ceramica took the playoff final series to a fifth and final game before losing to host Kinder Bologna 3-2. It was but the first of many highlights for the club last decade. Soon, Tau Ceramica would ascend to its very first Final Four, in 2005 in Moscow, knocking of home favorite CSKA in the semifinal before falling to Maccabi Tel Aviv in the championship game. But that would start for the club a string of four consecutive Final Four appearances that remains the second-most in the history of the event since its inception in 1988.

Baskonia is also the current leader in most points scored this century in the Euroleague, with 24,164 total, which makes for an average of 80.8 points per game. That's an advantage of almost 500 points over the second-most prolific scoring team, FC Barcelona (23,676), which has played three more games.

Baskonia is tied for first place with FC Barcelona, Olympiacos Piraeus and Zalgiris Kaunas for the most regular season games played with 168. It ranks fourth in most Top 16 games played with 84, tied with CSKA Moscow, Anadolu Efes and Olympiacos Piraeus. The team is the sole leader in the most playoffs games played ranking with 39 and ranks fifth in most Final Four games played with 8, tied with Olympiacos and Montepaschi Siena.

Several players have played one hundred or more games with Baskonia. Out of the current ones still playing in the team, Fernando San Emeterio, has had 115 appearances in the Euroleague while Andres Nocioni just happened to achieve the 100th game milestone with the team last week. Overall, Sergi Vidal is the player with the most appearances ever with Laboral Kutxa in the competition with 168 - he is ranked fifth in the overall most games played in the competition standings - followed by Pablo Prigioni (145), Luis Scola (144), Tiago Splitter (137) and Mirza Teletovic (120). Baskonia's highest-scoring game was on February 6, 2002 in the regular season against Telindus Oostende with a 114-78 win. The team grabbed as many as 54 rebounds on January 10, 2013 against Besiktas JK Istanbul in the Top 16 and had a cumulative index rating of 142 on December 5, 2001 against Ural Great Perm in the Regular Season.