Club Profile: Szolnoki Olaj

Sep 17, 2015 by Eurocupbasketball.com Print
Club Profile: Szolnoki Olaj

On the heels of winning the Hungarian League and Hungarian Cup double for the fourth time in five seasons, Szolnoki Olaj hopes to keep improving in its second Eurocup season. The team finished its first-ever Eurocup campaign early, with a 3-7 regular season record, but bounced back to stay as the team to beat in its country. Olaj is one of Hungary’s oldest clubs. Suba Sandor and Lorincz Andor were the key figures in the founding of the club, which was known from its inception in 1959 to 1988 as Alfoldi Olajbanyasz. The club reached Hungary’s top division in the late 1980s and debuted in international competition in the qualifying phase of the 1988 Korac Cup. Olaj won its first Hungarian championship in 1991 and played mighty Partizan Belgrade in the following season’s Euroleague qualifying phase. In the mid-90s, Olaj was a Korac Cup regular and among the better teams in Hungary, but its trophy case remained lonely until the club's first Hungarian Cup was lifted in 2002. Andrius Jurkunas was among the main players on Olaj’s first double-trophy season in 2006-07. Following a few quiet seasons, Olaj regrouped in 2010 and began the most impressive run in club history. Marton Bader, Akos Horvath and Obie Trotter led the club to the Hungarian double in their first season together and did even better in their second, defending both titles and reaching the 2012 FIBA EuroChallenge Final Four. A year later, Olaj tested itself in the Adriatic League, though the tougher schedule took its toll and the team lost in the Hungarian finals. But last season Olaj was back to its best, matching the successes from two years prior. A second campaign in the Eurocup brings new challenges, but with the momentum from its most recent triumphs and the backing of the passionate fans in Szolnok, good things are in the cards for Olaj.

2014-15 Results: Eurocup: Regular Season; Hungaran League: winner; Hungarian Cup: winner.