S.L. Benfica (basketball)
|Leagues||Liga Portuguesa de Basquetebol|
|Founded||20 March 1927 |
|Team colors||Red, White, Black
|Head coach||Carlos Lisboa|
|Active departments of
Sport Lisboa e Benfica
|Table tennis||Sport fishing||Billiards|
Benfica Basket is the professional basketball team of Sport Lisboa e Benfica, based in Lisbon, Portugal. They play in Liga Portuguesa de Basquetebol (LPB), although in June 2007, the team decided to leave the professional top league, then known as LCB, and join for the 2007–2008 season the Proliga, a league organized by the Federação Portuguesa de Basquetebol. From 2008 onwards, Benfica returned to the LPB after the Portuguese federation took over the realms of competition. They are the current Portuguese champions, having won three consecutive leagues.
It is the team with the most national senior titles, having the record for most championships, cups, league cups, supercups, and other national competitions, with a total of 74 titles. It is also the Portuguese team that advanced the furthest in the European top club basketball championship, now known as the Euroleague.
Benfica is a top sports club in Portugal and some of its most memorable moments were when its basketball team won European clashes against the likes of European giants that have won the Euroleague such as Buckler Bologna, Real Madrid, Cantù, Cibona, Joventut Badalona, Panathinaikos, Partizan, or CSKA Moscow. Despite basketball not being nearly as popular with the population as football, Benfica also enjoyed a major rivalry with FC Porto.
Along with its several junior teams that play in their respective top division championships, Benfica also has a developmental basketball team, Benfica B, that plays in the Proliga, the second highest tier in Portuguese basketball, after the LPB in which the main team competes.
- 1 History
- 2 Honours
- 3 Players
- 4 Home arenas
- 5 Results in European competitions
- 6 Former coaches
- 7 Former notable players
- 8 References
- 9 External links
Created in 1927, the basketball team followed the steps of many other sports that were supported by the club, achieving great success almost immediately. The team established itself as a main contender by the 1940s and during the whole 1960s gained the status of championship favourite and was already the club with the most titles won. By this time the club had won eight national championships and eight cups. This dominating spell decreased the following decade until the early 1980s. In this time-span Benfica could only win two championships, in the 1969–70 and the 1974–75 season, but won four national cups, the second most prestigious Portuguese tournament, in 1969–70, 1971–72, 1972–73 and 1973–74. After these years, Benfica again dominated the national scene.
The most successful period of the club was between 1985 and 1995. In eleven seasons, the team won ten national titles, seven of which in a row, five national cups, five league cups and six supercups, achieving the best season ever by a Portuguese basketball team in 1994–95 winning the Portuguese League, Portuguese League Cup, Portuguese Supercup, Portuguese Basketball Cup and finishing the European Champions' Cup in the Top 16. One of the highlight from that European Champions' Cup season was a 22 point victory (102–80) against CSKA Moscow in Lisbon on 12 January 1995. Benfica also made successful international campaigns in the other seasons considering the budget the team had compared with other European big teams. Some of the most successful of those campaigns include the 1993–94, when Benfica was close to reach the Top 8, and for a third season in a row Benfica managed to reach the Top 16 again in the European Champions' Cup, in 1995–96, grabbing a win against Panathinaikos, the eventual champions.
Decline in the late 1990s
This period was followed by a dark era in which Benfica was internally overshadowed by Ovarense, Portugal Telecom and FC Porto. Even though this period is considered to be a dark one, Benfica did manage to reach the LPB final once as well as winning SuperCups and finishing runners-up in the national cup and in the league cup. Also noteworthy is an away win against Real Madrid, in the 1996–97 EuroCup, the same season the Spaniards won the competition. The team finally decided to withdraw from the top tier and applied for the second league, the Proliga, which was the highest division run by the Federação Portuguesa de Basquetebol. However the first division was folded and the LPB was again being overviewed by the national federation. This allowed the team to make a comeback to the main league.
Revival in the late 2000s
After more than a decade without any titles and in the same season Benfica had made a return to the first league, the 2008–09 season, the team won the Portuguese League, with a perfect score of 100% wins during the regular season, becoming the second team in the world to do so, after Maccabi Tel Aviv in the 1970s, and thrashing Ovarense 4–0 in the best-of-four game final. Benfica won the championship again the following season with a 91% winning record in the regular stage and a 4–1 final against Porto. The recent success brought the team to participate in the EuroChallenge, thus marking the end of a mid-term long hiatus from Portuguese clubs in European basketball competitions. The following year, Benfica won the League Cup and the SuperCup but did not renew the championship as it lost 4–3 in the final to Porto.
In the next season Benfica regained the title of Portuguese champion after defeating Porto in their home court Dragão Caixa (53–56) in the last best-of-five series game following a 2–2 playoff tie. Benfica retained the title the following season, having only lost two games, one in the regular season, and the other in the play-off final, which they won 3–1 against Académica de Coimbra, both defeats coming only in overtime. Overall Benfica won every title except the Cup, losing against Vitória de Guimarães in the final, amassing only three losses in the entire season in all competitions. On 23 May 2014, Benfica defeated Vitória de Guimarães (3–0) and conquered its 25th champions title (third consecutive), completing the domestic treble of League, Portuguese Cup and Hugo dos Santos Cup. In this season they won a total of 4 titles (including the 2013 Supercup).
- Liga Portuguesa de Basquetebol: 25 (record)
- 1939–40, 1945–46, 1946–47, 1960–61, 1961–62, 1962–63, 1963–64, 1964–65, 1969–70, 1974–75, 1984–85, 1985–86, 1986–87, 1988–89, 1989–90, 1990–91, 1991–92, 1992–93, 1993–94, 1994–95, 2008–09, 2009–10, 2011–12, 2012–13, 2013–14
- Campeonato Metropolitano: 5 (record)
- 1965–66, 1969–70, 1970–71, 1972–73, 1973–74
- Taça de Portugal: 19 (record)
- 1945–46, 1946–47, 1960–61, 1963–64, 1964–65, 1965–66, 1967–68, 1968–69, 1969–70, 1971–72, 1972–73, 1973–74, 1980–81, 1991–92, 1992–93, 1993–94, 1994–95, 1995–96, 2013–14
- Taça da Liga / Hugo dos Santos: 9 (record)
- 1989–90, 1990–91, 1992–93, 1993–94, 1994–95, 1995–96, 2010–11, 2012–13, 2013–14
- Supertaça de Portugal: 11 (record)
- 1985, 1989, 1991, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1998, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013
- Supertaça da Lusofonia: 1
S.L. Benfica Basket roster
|C||Cláudio Fonseca||Fred Gentry|
|PF||Seth Doliboa||Artur Castela|
|SG||Jobey Thomas||Carlos Ferreirinho|
|PG||Diogo Carreira||Tomás Barroso||Fernandes|
Results in European competitions
Former notable players
Won an official title or won individual titles
- "The History". glorioso-triplo.blogspot.com. Retrieved 17 September 2010. (Portuguese)
- "Benfica gets relegated to the ProLiga". serbenfiquista.com. Retrieved 17 September 2010. (Portuguese)
- "Benfica vs Virtus Bologna final score". fibaeurope.com. Retrieved 18 September 2010.
- "Real Madrid vs Benfica final score". fibaeurope.com. Retrieved 24 October 2010.
- "Benfica vs Pallacanestro Cantù final score". fibaeurope.com. Retrieved 26 January 2013.
- "Benfica vs Cibona final score". fibaeurope.com. Retrieved 26 January 2013.
- "Joventut Badalona vs Benfica final score". fibaeurope.com. Retrieved 18 September 2010.
- "Benfica vs Panathinaikos final score". fibaeurope.com. Retrieved 18 September 2010.
- "Benfica vs Partizan final score". fibaeurope.com. Retrieved 26 January 2013.
- "Benfica vs CSKA final score". fibaeurope.com. Retrieved 17 September 2010.
- "SL Benfica B". Federação Portuguesa de Basquetebol (in Portuguese). Retrieved 2 October 2012.
- "Semi-final round 1993–94". fibaeurope.com. Retrieved 17 September 2010.
- "Semi-final round 1995–96". fibaeurope.com. Retrieved 17 September 2010.
- "Honours". benfica.pt. Retrieved 17 September 2010. (Portuguese)
- "Participations in FIBA Europe competitions". fibaeurope.com. Retrieved 13 September 2012.