Turkish Airlines Euroleague
June 19, 2013
Club Profile 2012-13: Trefl Sopot
Fresh off an incredible domestic season, Trefl Sopot storms into the 2012-13 Eurocup with the ambition to keep growing at all levels. Basketball is not a new thing in Sopot, as Prokom Trefl opened its doors in this city back in 1995. Within five seasons, Prokom had climbed to the Polish elite and lifted its first trophy, the 2000 Polish Cup. A year later a second Cup arrived and the team made it to the Korac Cup quarterfinals in its first European season. In 2002 Prokom went one step higher by reaching the Polish finals for the first time and in 2003 it did the same, while also getting all the way to the FIBA Europe Champions Cup title game, losing by a single point, 84-83, against Aris Thessaloniki. Prokom made its ULEB Cup debit in the 2003-04 season and advanced to the elimination rounds before returning to the Polish League, where it all finally clicked. Prokom downed Slask Wroclaw in the finals to win the league title. It was the first of five consecutive titles, as Prokom became the undeniable powerhouse in the country. Three Euroleague Top 16 appearances in 2005, 2007 and 2009 cemented its status at the top continental level, too. Asseco Prokom moved to nearby Gdynia before the start of the 2009-10 season but Trefl Sopot kept its name in the competition with a new structure and different goals. Trefl became a club focused on Polish players, giving them the opportunity to compete at the highest level in the country and eventually allow them to play for the national team. Trefl stayed fully competitive, however, reaching the Polish League semifinals in 2009-10 behind solid performances from Iwo Kitzinger, Saulius Kuzminskas and Lawrence Kinnard. Despite losing in the 2010-11 EuroChallenge Qualifying round - its only continental experience since Prokom moved to Gdynia -, Trefl, now led by fan favourite Filip Dylewicz and Adam Waczynski, went back to the Polish League semifinals, losing 4-3 in a best-of-seven series against PGE Turow Zgorzelec. Its great efforts paid off in 2011-12, as Trefl got better with the additions of Lukasz Koszarek, John Turek and Lukasz Wisniewski. Trefl won the Polish Cup, downing Zastal Zielona Gora 77-73 in the title game behind 25 points from Koszarek. It also took reveng against Turow in the Polish League semifinals to reach the title series against Prokom, taking the series to the final, decisive Game 7. Prokom prevailed but Trefl earned the right to compete in the Eurocup in 2012-13.
Wednesday, July 18, 2012