Banvit Bandirma's steady rise as a power in Turkey continues as it seeks a spot in the Turkish Airlines Euroleague via the qualifying rounds. Although last season Banvit narrowly missed out on the Eurocup quarterfinals for the second year in a row, the club shook off that disappointment to beat defending national champ Besiktas in the Turkish League quarterfinals and beat Euroleague power Anadolu Efes in the semis. Even though it lost in the finals to Galatasaray, Banvit's record proved that it was no longer an up-and-coming club, but rather a dangerous foe that had reached the highest levels. This season, the pride of Turkey's Marmara Region hopes to take on its greatest challenge yet in the Euroleague. In just two decades, Banvit has gone from being a local team in a factory to a name recognized across the continent. The club's run started back in 1994, when it was founded by workers at Banvit, a meat company in Bandirma. It competed in local leagues until moving up to the regional level in 1998. The club made it to the Turkish second division in 2001 and managed to reach the playoffs in the 2001-02 season. Two years later, Banvit became the 2004 second-division champion and earned the right to play against the very best teams in Turkey. With George Banks and Rashid Atkins as its top players, Banvit shined in its European competition debut by reaching the 2005 FIBA Europe Cup semifinals. In 2005-06, Banvit continued to progress as a team and reached the Turkish League playoff semifinals for the first time. The next season Banvit came within one win of the FIBA Eurocup Last 16. Banvit went back to the FIBA Eurocup in 2007-08 and later that season, despite sealing a third consecutive Turkish League playoffs spot, fell to Besiktas in the quarterfinals. Banvit went through a less-than-stellar 2008-09 season only to bounce back with former playmaking great Orhun Ene as head coach and a core of players featuring Baris Ermis, Keith Simmons and Baris Ozcan. Banvit ranked third at the end of the Turkish League regular season and knocked off Pinar Karsiyaka in the quarterfinals, but eventual champion Fenerbahce Ulker stopped the club in the semifinals. Banvit sampled the Turkish Airlines Euroleague Qualifying Rounds and played in the 2010-11 Eurocup before turning its attention to domestic competition and reaching the playoff semifinals again. Two years ago, Banvit won its Eurocup regular season group and then finished a tiebreaker short of a playoff berth. In the Turkish League things went even better as the team reached the Turkish Cup final, then tied for the best record in the regular season and took powerhouse Efes the distance in the playoff semifinals. After matching its Eurocup output and going further than ever in the Turkish League playoffs, Banvit now hopes to take the next leap forward into the Turkish Airlines Euroleague.