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BC UNICS (Russian: БК УНИКС) is a professional basketball club in Kazan, Russia, that plays in the VTB United League and EuroLeague. Their home arena is Basket-Hall Kazan.

BC UNICS
BC UNICS logo
Leagues VTB United League
EuroCup Basketball
Founded 1991
History BC UNICS
(1991–present)
Arena Basket-Hall Kazan
Arena Capacity 7,482
Location Kazan, Russia
Team colors Green, White
         
President Yevgeny Bogachev
Team manager Valery Kolesnikov
Head coach Dimitrios Priftis
Championships 1 EuroCup
3 Russian Cups
1 North European League
1 EuroChallenge
Website unics.ru
Uniforms


Though officially the club's men's professional club was founded in 1991, (when it first began to play in the lowest level of the national pro leagues), UNICS traces its origins back to KSU's college team Burevestnik, which participated in the USSR student championships from 1957, and won the all-Soviet college title twice – in 1965 and 1970. Because of this, the name 'UNICS' is quite an abbreviation – UNI(versity), C(ulture), S(port).

In 1997, UNICS was promoted to the Russian Basketball Super League A, which was, at the time, the top-tier level Russian league. A year later, Yevgeny Bogachev, the chairman of the National Bank of the Republic of Tatarstan, became the president of the club.

Contents

HistoryEdit

UNICS has gone a long way towards helping Russian basketball since the club was established in 1991. Between 1994 and 1997, UNICS secured a berth in Russia's first division, and then made a smashing debut, establishing itself among the top five teams in the country. UNICS had already played in European competitions in 1997, but the new millennium happened to be a turning point for the club. The team placed second to CSKA in the Russian Basketball Super League in 2001 and 2002, the year in which it also reached the Saporta Cup semifinals, losing against the Greek club Maroussi in the semifinals. UNICS' first title was the Russian Cup in March 2003, with an electrifying 81–82 overtime victory over CSKA. UNICS' fans did not have to wait long to see their team win a European title, too. Kazan hosted the FIBA Europe League final four, which was eventually named the FIBA EuroChallenge, in April 2004, and UNICS made sure of its opportunity. UNICS signed Saulius Štombergas, Eurelijus Žukauskas, and Chris Anstey, and then won its regular season group, and advanced to the final four, which was held on its own floor, and where the club was crowned the FIBA Europe League champions. The MVP of the tournament's final four, Martin Müürsepp, scored 22 points, in an 87–63 win over Maroussi, in the title game. By the 2005–06 season, UNICS went one level up, and made its ULEB Cup (later named EuroCup) debut, where they tied the best regular season record in the competition's history. However, things turned south quickly, as UNICS lost at home against Roma, for the only time all season, in the tournament's eighth finals’ second leg, and crashed out earlier than expected. UNICS got stronger for the next season, keeping the core group of the previous season's side, while adding Darjuš Lavrinovič to reunite with his twin brother Kšyštof Lavrinovič, in a twin-towers set full of talent. The team made it to the ULEB Cup semifinals, before losing to the eventual league champs Real Madrid. It also returned to the Russian League finals, losing against perennial champion CSKA.

In the 2007–08 season, UNICS made it to the ULEB Cup (now called EuroCup) Final Eight, but fell to Akasvayu Girona in the quarterfinals. UNICS finally broke through in the EuroCup in the 2010–11 season, by winning its regular season and Last 16 groups, before sweeping its quarterfinal series against Pepsi Caserta. Once in the finals, UNICS thrashed KK Cedevita 87–66, in the semifinals, behind 27 points from Terrell Lyday, and registered a no-doubt-about-it 92–77 win against Cajasol Sevilla, in the title game. Marko Popović had 18 points and a EuroCup Finals record of 11 assists, to lead UNICS to the title. In the Russian League, UNICS marched to a 21–6 record, to finish the regular season atop the standings with room to spare, but then went out in the playoff semifinals, after a grueling five-game duel against BC Khimki. The club then entered into new waters, eager to prove that it belonged among the European continent’s best, as it would compete in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague in the following season.

On the heels of one of the greatest seasons in club history, UNICS looked to continue its rise to greatness, as it made its EuroLeague debut in the 2011–12 season. The reigning EuroCup champion was a force to be reckoned with in the previous season, as it not only marched through the EuroCup, but also made noise in the Russian League, where it finished first at the end of the regular season, and reached the playoff semifinals. One of the secrets to the club’s success was that it had managed to keep a core of star players for several years. Players like Marko Popović, Maciej Lampe, Terrell Lyday, Vladimir Veremeenko, and Kelly McCarty helped write a golden chapter in UNICS' club history. Before that, UNICS had put Kazan, Russia, on the European basketball map, and became the perfect ambassador for the sports-crazy Republic of Tatarstan in the Russian federation.

HonoursEdit

Domestic competitionsEdit

Champions (3): 2003, 2009, 2014

European competitionsEdit

Champions (1): 2011
Champions (1): 2004
Champions (1): 2003

Season by seasonEdit

Season Tier Division Pos. Russian Cup European competitions Other competitions
1997–98 1 Superleague A 7th 3 Korać Cup
GS
1998–99 1 Superleague A 5th 2 Saporta Cup
1999–00 1 Superleague A 3rd 3 Korać Cup
EF
2000–01 1 Superleague A 2nd 2 Saporta Cup
SF
2001–02 1 Superleague A 2nd 2 Saporta Cup
QF
2002–03 1 Superleague A 3rd Winner 3 FIBA Champions Cup
QF
NEBL
C
2003–04 1 Superleague A 2nd Third place 3 FIBA Europe League
C
2004–05 1 Superleague A 3rd Runner-up 3 FIBA Europe League
QF
2005–06 1 Superleague A 4th Third place 2 ULEB Cup
EF
2006–07 1 Superleague A 2nd Runner-up 2 ULEB Cup
QF
2007–08 1 Superleague A 6th Semifinals 2 ULEB Cup
QF
2008–09 1 Superleague A 3rd Winner 2 Eurocup
T16
2009–10 1 Superleague A 3rd Runner-up 2 Eurocup
T16
United League
RU
2010–11 1 PBL 3rd 2 Eurocup
C
United League
3rd
2011–12 1 PBL 5th 1 Euroleague
QF
United League
RU
2012–13 1 PBL 6th 2 Eurocup
QF
United League
QF
2013–14 1 VTB United League 3rd Champion 2 Eurocup
RU
2014–15 1 VTB United League 6th Second Qualifying 1 Euroleague
RS
2 Eurocup
SF
2015–16 1 VTB United League 2nd First Qualifying 2 Eurocup
EF
2016–17 1 VTB United League 5th Round of 64 1 EuroLeague
RS

RosterEdit

Note: Flags indicate national team eligibility at FIBA sanctioned events. Players may hold other non-FIBA nationality not displayed.

BC UNICS Kazan roster
Players Coaches
Pos. No. Nat. Name Ht. Wt. Age
G/F 7   Ponkrashov, Anton 2.00 m (6 ft 7 in) 96 kg (212 lb) 31 – (1986-04-23)23 April 1986
PG 10   Colom, Quino 1.88 m (6 ft 2 in) 80 kg (176 lb) 29 – (1988-11-01)1 November 1988
PF 21   Kaimakoglou, Kostas 2.06 m (6 ft 9 in) 113 kg (249 lb) 34 – (1983-03-15)15 March 1983
SG 31   Anđušić, Danilo 1.95 m (6 ft 5 in) 92 kg (203 lb) 26 – (1991-04-22)22 April 1991
SG   Lockett, Trent 1.96 m (6 ft 5 in) 95 kg (209 lb) 26 – (1990-12-10)10 December 1990
SF   Ejim, Melvin 2.01 m (6 ft 7 in) 100 kg (220 lb) 26 – (1991-03-04)4 March 1991
F/C   Lasme, Stéphane 2.03 m (6 ft 8 in) 98 kg (216 lb) 34 – (1982-12-17)17 December 1982
SG   Smith, Jamar 1.91 m (6 ft 3 in) 84 kg (185 lb) 30 – (1987-04-07)7 April 1987
C   Meiers, Mārtiņš 2.08 m (6 ft 10 in) 108 kg (238 lb) 26 – (1991-03-30)30 March 1991
Head coach
Assistant coach(es)
Strength & conditioning coach(es)
  •   Marcus Lindner
Team manager
  •   Valery Kolesnikov
  •   Mikhail Kolesnikov

Legend
  • (C) Team captain
  •   Injured

Updated: 11 February 2017

Depth chartEdit

Pos. Starting 5 Bench 1 Bench 2 Bench 3
C Stéphane Lasme Mārtiņš Meiers Grigory Shukhovtsov Aleksandr Bille
PF Kostas Kaimakoglou Marko Banić Andrei Koscheev
SF Melvin Ejim Danilo Anđušić Vladislav Trushkin
SG Jamar Smith Trent Lockett Evgeny Kolesnikov Ilnur Sharipov
PG Quino Colom Anton Ponkrashov Pavel Sergeev

Notable Russian playersEdit

bold – FIBA World and FIBA Europe champions and medalists

Notable foreign playersEdit

bold – former NBA players; Olympics, FIBA World and FIBA Europe champions and medalists

  Milan Gurović (2004) and   Hüseyin Beşok (2005) shortly were under contract with UNICS Kazan, but never played a single game for the team.

(*) former NBA champions

CoachesEdit

bold – Olympics, FIBA World and FIBA Europe champions and medalists

ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit