Turkish Airlines Euroleague
December 11, 2013
Club Profile 2012-13: Gescrap Bilbao Basket
July 18, 2012
Fresh off a great 2011-12 Turkish Airlines Euroleague debut, Gescrap Bilbao Basket returns to the Eurocup with the only mission of winning the title to get back to the European club basketball elite. Gescrap overcame a 2-4 regular season start with big wins against Sluc Nancy, Fenerbahce Ulker and Caja Laboral to storm in the Top 16. Three home wins and a road triumph in Malaga allowed Gescrap to reach the Playoffs, in which mighty CSKA Moscow stood on its way to the Final Four. Gescrap also reached the Spanish League playoffs, in which Laboral took revenge in the quarterfinals. Founded in 2000, Bilbao has marched along a road of success that started in the Spanish third division. Not the first professional basketball club in the city, Bilbao tapped into a ready base of eager basketball fans as it moved up almost a division per year under head coach Txus Vidorreta and future All-Euroleague superstar Tiago Splitter. In 2004, Bilbao aced the second-division playoffs to qualify for the top Spanish League and started to make noise soon after. Bilbao used a core of players featuring Javier Salgado, Marko Banic, Martin Rancik, Luke Recker and Andy Panko to finish 10th in the 2006-07 Spanish League. The next year Marcelinho Huertas and Quincy Lewis helped Bilbao climb even higher and get to the Spanish League playoff quarterfinals, the Spanish King's Cup semifinals and the Spanish Supercup title game. In 2008-09, Bilbao beat all expectations in its Eurocup debut season, finishing the regular season unbeaten and winning its Last 16 group to reach the Final Eight. Bilbao then beat Zadar 76-67 in the quarterfinals but was unable to beat BC Khimki in the semifinals. The club also returned to the Spanish League playoffs that season. Fotis Katsikaris became head coach early in the 2009-10 season and Bilbao returned to the Eurocup semifinals with stars like Banic, Alex Mumbru and Axel Hervelle leading the way until losing against Alba Berlin in the semis. Banic was chosen as the 2009-10 Eurocup MVP. In 2010-11, Bilbao returned to the Spanish League playoffs, knocking off Power Electronics Valencia and Real Madrid to get to the title series against FC Barcelona. A dream Euroleague season has allowed Gescrap to keep growing, turning each game at Miribilla into a basketball celebration. Expect Gescrap to be ambitious and ready to challenge for the Eurocup crown.