No BCL winners remaining on AEK’s books
Last year, AEK celebrated a memorable triumph in the Basketball Champions League, but the entire roster has since departed the club.
What a moment it was for the Enosis. Hosting the Final Four at the OAKA Indoor Hall in Athens, AEK powered to their maiden Basketball Champions League title, narrowly defeating UCAM Murcia in the semi-final (77-75) before slaying Monaco in the showpiece game (100-94) to hoist the trophy aloft. A competition which will long live in the memory for AEK supporters:
However, ever since that victory and the 2018 Greek Cup win, AEK have come back down to earth with a bump. Although AEK did win the 2019 FIBA Intercontinental Cup in January, the club struggled to live up to the increased expectations, suffering an early exit in the Greek Cup, being knocked out in the quarter-finals of the Basketball Champions League and dramatically losing to Promitheas in the Last Four of the Basket League. Luca Banchi has subsequently been replaced by Ilias Papatheodorou as AEK head coach.
This summer, the AEK roster has undergone a large makeover, with the likes of Dusan Sakota, Giannoulis Larentzakis, Vince Hunter, Delroy James, Vasilis Xanthopoulos and Jordan Theodore all moving through the exit door. Nevertheless, while key players such as Sakota and Larentzakis will be dearly missed, new signings Keith Langford, Nikos Gikas, Marcus Slaughter, Dimitris Kaklamanakis, Kendrick Ray and Vasilis Toilopoulos will breathe new energy into a club in serious need of a pick-me-up.
Interestingly, Dimitris Moraitis, Nikos Rogkavopoulos, Ioannis Agravanis and Giorgos Tsalmpouris are the only remaining players who are still on the club’s books having been under contract at AEK when the team won the 2017/2018 Basketball Champions League. All four of them played no more than a minimal role in AEK’s successes.
AEK will look to rebuild in the upcoming season after a disappointing 2018/2019 campaign, even if they have to do it without their former heroes. One of their main targets will be to make a return to the Final Four of the Basketball Champions League.