2018-19 Team Profile: MoraBanc Andorra

Jul 23, 2018 by Eurocupbasketball.com Print
2018-19 Team Profile: MoraBanc Andorra

MoraBanc Andorra made its debut in European competitions last season with its first 7DAYS EuroCup appearance. Despite putting together a solid roster in the offseason, the European stage was a big challenge for the team and it only won its first game after four regular season rounds. Jaka Blazic, Jaime Fernandez and Vladimir Jankovic were the main men that kept the team afloat, but in the end, Andorra finished the regular season with a 3-7 record and did not advance to the next stage of the competition. In the Spanish League, Andorra finished sixth in the regular season and advanced to the playoffs, where it stunned FC Barcelona Lassa on the road in the series opener before ultimately falling 2-1. That playoff appearance earned Andorra its second trip to the EuroCup for 2018-19, and the experience from last season will surely play an important part in this new adventure, starting with new head coach Ibon Navarro.


2017-18 EuroCup 3-7 Regular Season
TOTAL: 3-7


Andorra may be a small country, but it has great pride when it comes to its signature basketball team. Morabanc Andorra La Vella was founded in 1970 as Club de Baloncesto Les Escaldes, but in just one year, it became Basquet Club Andorra, its official name for more than four decades. The club started playing in Spanish regional leagues and reached national-level competitions in 1984. In the 1985-86 season, Andorra won the Spanish third division title and was promoted to the second-level competition. Andorra fought for a spot among the Spanish elite for years and it finally broke through in 1992 led by playmaker Sergi Lopez, legendary shooter Josep Maria Margall and scoring machine Ray Smith. A 73-71 win over Caceres on April 14, 1992, gave Andorra the Spanish second division title. The then-called Festina Andorra invested well to avoid relegation problems, inking veteran playmaker Jose Luis Llorente and a pair of strong big men, Piculin Ortiz and Dan Godfread. Coached by Edu Torres, Andorra ranked 12th overall in the 1992-93 season and lost in the playoff eighthfinals against Caja San Fernando. Andorra went on to have a fantastic 1993-94 season, finishing fourth at the end of the regular season with an 18-10 record. Godfread was joined by Andy Toolson, Frankie Solana – who is the team's current sports director – and Quique Villalobos. Ultimately, Orense swept Andorra in the eighthfinals. In 1994-95, Andorra qualified for the Copa del Rey for the first time and lost in the quarterfinals against Estudiantes 87-86. Led by Ricky Brown and Conner Henry, Andorra also reached the playoffs as the eighth-ranked team, but was felled by FC Barcelona. That result allowed Andorra to make its debut in European club competitions in the 1995-96 Korac Cup. But that season the team did not advance past the regular season, fell back to the Spanish second division and financial issues forced Andorra to start all the way from the bottom, in the third regional division. By 2009, the team had been promoted enough times to reach the Spanish third division. It went one level up in 2012 and returned to the top Spanish League in 2014, where it has stayed ever since. After a couple of 14th-place finishes, Andorra took a big step forward in the 2016-17 season, as Giorgi Shermadini, Beqa Burjanadze and Andrew Albicy led Andorra to the Copa del Rey tournament and the Spanish League playoffs. Andorra lost against Real Madrid by a narrow margin in both competitions. With its debut in the 7DAYS EuroCup last season, Andorra was on the European basketball map, but a subpar regular season saw the team eliminated with a 3-7 record. Now, Andorra basketball is back on the European stage, but this time it comes with valuable experience under its belt.