AEK’s Champions League triumph adds to Greece’s stockpile
AEK’s 100-94 defat of AS Monaco in last night’s FIBA Basketball Champions League Final saw Greece’s stockpile of European titles rise to 18 trophies…
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AEK’s first-ever triumph in the FIBA Basketball Champions League increased the club’s haul of European trophies to three as the Athenians added to their two previous triumphs in the FIBA Saporta Cup in 1968 and in 2000.
Of course, AEK’s triumph in the 1968 Saporta Cup was the first-ever European title for a Greek club; however, since then Greek clubs have gone on to win titles in every tier of European basketball club competitions.
While AEK lifted Greece’s first silverware with their triumph over Slavia Prague in the Saporta Cup in 1968, the competition was ranked as an inferior competition to the FIBA European Champions Cup; which in that season featured Panathinaikos who lost to eventual semi-finalists Zadar in the second round.
In fact, Greece’s first triumph in the first-tier of European basketball didn’t happen until 1996 when Panathinaikos defeated Barcelona in the Final of the 1995/1996 FIBA European League in Paris – the Trifylli emerging victorious in the French capital after Olympiacos’ back-to-back losses in the Finals of 1994 and 1995.
Olympiacos, who have three first-tier European titles to their name, followed up their rivals’ win in the competition with a triumph of their own over Barcelona the very next season in Rome.
Of all the triumphs by Greek clubs, Panathinaikos are currently the most successful club in terms of titles with six first-tier titles to their name, though the Prasini have never repeated as European Champions which Olympiacos pulled-off with back-to-back title wins in the EuroLeague in 2012 and 2013.
Olympiacos own another record for Greek clubs in European competition, though this one is rather dubious as the Piraeus giants have made the most appearances by a Greek club in a European Final but hold a losing record of 3 wins and 5 losses.
While all of AEK’s triumphs have come in the second-tier of European basketball, the Enosi did make a first-tier Final when they reached the Final of the 1997/1998 FIBA EuroLeague – losing to Italian side Kinder Bologna in Barcelona.
Aris are the fourth successful club in terms of the number of titles won and the tiers in which the Thessaloniki side has been most successful. Aris’ maiden European triumph came in the 1992/1993 Saporta Cup when the Autokratoras defeated Aegean rivals Efes Pilsen in the Final in Turin.
Aris’ other triumphs came in the lower tiers of European basketball, with the club winning one in the third-tier of competition, the 1996/1997 triumph in the FIBA Korac Cup, a two-legged Final against Turkish outfit Tofas.
Aris also managed a triumph in the fourth tier of European basketball by defeating Polish outfit Prokom Trefl Sport at Alexandreio in the final of the FIBA EuroCup Challenge.
PAOK, who have made three Final appearances in the FIBA Saporta Cup, only have won second-tier title to their name when the Dikefale tou Vorra beat Zaragoza in the 1991 Final in Geneva.
PAOK do have a second European triumph in the form of the third-tier FIBA Korac Cup of 1993/1994, in which PAOK triumphed over Italian side Stefanel Trieste.
Maroussi, who now compete in the second-tier of Greek basketball, have one European triumph from their glory days as the Athenian side captured the Saporta Cup in 2001 with a 74-72 win over France’s Elan Chalon in Warsaw.
Three years later, Maroussi reached another Final, this time in the third-tier of European competition, the FIBA EuroChallenge, only to lose to Russian outfit UNICS who had the benefit of home court advantage in that Final.
Makedonikos, who can now be found in the fourth-tier of Greek basketball, are the lone Greek team to make a European Final without eventually winning one as the Thessaloniki-based outfit lost the 2005 EuroCup Basketball Final to Lietuvos rytas in the club’s lone appearance in a European Final.
European Titles by Club
FIBA European League (1): 1995/1996
FIBA EuroLeague (1): 1999/2000
EuroLeague (4): 2001/2002, 2006/2007, 2008/2009, 2010/2011
FIBA EuroLeague (1): 1996/1997
EuroLeague (2): 2011/2012, 2012/2013
FIBA Saporta Cup (2): 1967/1968, 1999/2000
FIBA Basketball Champions League (1): 2017/2018
FIBA Saporta Cup (1): 1992/1993
FIBA Korac Cup (1): 1996/1997
FIBA EuroCup Challenge (1): 2002/2003
FIBA Saporta Cup (1): 1990/1991
FIBA Korac Cup (1): 1993/1994
FIBA Saporta Cup (1): 2000/2001