S.L. Benfica (basketball)

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Leagues Liga Portuguesa de Basquetebol
Founded 20 March 1927 (88 years ago) (1927-03-20)[1]
History S.L. Benfica
Arena Pavilhão Fidelidade
Location Lisbon, Portugal
Team colors Red, White, Black
President José Tomaz
Head coach Carlos Lisboa
Championships 26
Website slbenfica.pt
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Home jersey
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Team colours
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Away jersey
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Team colours
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Alternate jersey
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Team colours
Active sections of
Sport Lisboa e Benfica
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Football Futsal Basketball
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Roller hockey Handball Volleyball
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Rugby union Athletics Swimming
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Table tennis Billiards Canoeing

Sport Lisboa e Benfica is a professional basketball team based in Lisbon, Portugal. They are the current champions, having won four consecutive leagues, and the most successful Portuguese club.

Founded in 1927, they play in the Liga Portuguesa de Basquetebol (LPB), although in June 2007 the team decided to leave the professional top league, then known as LCB, and join the Proliga,[2] 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.

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 78 titles. It is also the Portuguese team that advanced the furthest in the European top club basketball championship, now known as the Euroleague.

Some of their most memorable moments were when they won European clashes against the likes of European clubs which have won the Euroleague, such as Buckler Bologna, Real Madrid, Cantù, Cibona, Joventut Badalona, Panathinaikos, Partizan, or CSKA Moscow.[1][3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10] Despite basketball not being nearly as popular with the population as football, Benfica also enjoyed a major rivalry with FC Porto until 2012.

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.[11]


Early years[edit]

Created on 20 March 1927,[1] 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.

Golden years[edit]

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.[10] 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,[12] 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.[13][8]

Decline in the late 1990s[edit]

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.[4] The team finally decided to withdraw from the top tier and applied for the second league, the Proliga,[2] 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[edit]

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.

Recent years[edit]

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).

In the 2014–15 season, Benfica returned to the European competitions, playing in EuroChallenge where they finished in third place of Group E. At domestic level, Benfica won all the five competitions.[14][15]


Domestic competitions[edit]

  • Liga Portuguesa de Basquetebol: 26 (record)[16]
    • 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, 2014–15
  • Taça de Portugal: 20 (record)[16]
    • 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, 2014–15
  • Torneio dos Campeões: 1
    • 2006–07

International competitions[edit]


Current roster[edit]

S.L. Benfica roster
Players Coaches
Pos. # Nat. Name Ht. Wt. Age
SG 6 Portugal Ferreirinho, Carlos 70002009999999999992.01 m (6 ft 7 in) 700196000000000000096 kg (212 lb) 23 – (1991-12-31)31 December 1991
PG 8 Portugal Carreira, Diogo (C) 70001800000000000001.80 m (5 ft 11 in) 700181000000000000081 kg (179 lb) 36 – (1978-12-02)2 December 1978
PG 10 Portugal Fernandes, Mário 70001760000000000001.76 m (5 ft 9 in) 700178000000000000078 kg (172 lb) 33 – (1982-04-25)25 April 1982
C 11 Portugal Fonseca, Cláudio 70002069999999999992.07 m (6 ft 9 in) 7002102000000000000102 kg (225 lb) 26 – (1989-01-22)22 January 1989
PG 13 Portugal Gameiro, Diogo 70001830000000000001.83 m (6 ft 0 in) 700180000000000000080 kg (176 lb) 19 – (1995-08-13)13 August 1995
PF 14 United States Doliboa, Seth 70002029999999999992.03 m (6 ft 8 in) 7002105000000000000105 kg (231 lb) 34 – (1980-12-01)1 December 1980
C 15 United States Gentry, Fred 70002029999999999992.03 m (6 ft 8 in) 7002110000000000000110 kg (243 lb) 37 – (1977-07-07)7 July 1977
SF 17 Portugal Soares, João 70002020000000000002.02 m (6 ft 8 in) 7002101000000000000101 kg (223 lb) 25 – (1990-03-27)27 March 1990
PF 18 Portugal Castela, Artur 70002020000000000002.02 m (6 ft 8 in) 700197000000000000097 kg (214 lb) 21 – (1993-07-30)30 July 1993
PG 21 Portugal Barroso, Tomás 70001850000000000001.85 m (6 ft 1 in) 700188000000000000088 kg (194 lb) 24 – (1990-11-02)2 November 1990
SF 23 Portugal Andrade, Carlos 70001970000000000001.97 m (6 ft 6 in) 7002109000000000000109 kg (240 lb) 37 – (1978-04-27)27 April 1978
C 35 United States Slay, Ron 70002029999999999992.03 m (6 ft 8 in) 7002105000000000000105 kg (231 lb) 34 – (1981-06-29)29 June 1981
PG Portugal Oliveira, Nuno 70001860000000000001.86 m (6 ft 1 in) 700185000000000000085 kg (187 lb) 25 – (1989-08-20)20 August 1989
Head coach
Assistant coach(es)

  • (C) Team captain
  • Injured Injured

Updated: 1 June 2015

Depth chart[edit]

Pos. Starter Bench Bench Reserve
C Cláudio Fonseca Fred Gentry
PF Seth Doliboa Artur Castela
SF Carlos Andrade
SG Carlos Ferreirinho
PG Diogo Carreira Tomás Barroso Fernandes

Home arenas[edit]

Results in European competitions[edit]

Season Competition Round Opposition Score
1961–62 FIBA European Champions Cup Qualifying round Italy Pallacanestro Varese 49–73 (H)
101–48 (A)
1962–63 FIBA European Champions Cup Qualifying round Spain Real Madrid 61–97 (H)
110–47 (A)
1963–64 FIBA European Champions Cup Qualifying round Bye
First round Poland Legia Warsaw Withdrew
1965–66 FIBA European Champions Cup Qualifying round Morocco Wydad Casablanca 53–54 (A)
76–77 (H)
61–63 (N)
1966–67 FIBA European Cup Winner's Cup Qualifying round Spain Joventut Badalona 107–38 (A)
57–118 (H)
1970–71 FIBA European Champions Cup Qualifying round Hungary Budapest Honvéd SE 67–112 (H)
118–66 (A)
1972–73 FIBA European Cup Winner's Cup First qualifying round England Sutton Basket 76–77 (A)
77–71 (H)
Second qualifying round Belgium Antwerp BC 86–83 (H)
120–80 (A)
1973–74 FIBA European Cup Winner's Cup Second qualifying round Spain Estudiantes Madrid 91–75 (H)
93–61 (A)
1981–82 FIBA European Cup Winner's Cup First qualifying round Belgium BBK Gent 81–83 (H)
101–81 (A)
1986–87 FIBA European Champions Cup Qualifying round England Manchester United 91–67 (A)
87–79 (H)
1987–88 FIBA European Champions Cup Qualifying round Luxembourg BBC Sparta Bertrange 122–77 (H)
84–108 (A)
First round Israel Maccabi Tel Aviv 111–86 (A)
79–81 (H)
1988–89 FIBA Korać Cup Qualifying round Belgium Antwerp Giants 83–75 (A)
95–88 (H)
1989–90 FIBA European Champions Cup Qualifying round Italy Olimpia Milano 99–112 (H)
92–73 (A)
1990–91 FIBA European Champions Cup Qualifying round West Germany Bayer Leverkusen 87–85 (H)
110–74 (A)
1991–92 FIBA European League Preliminary round II France Olympique Antibes 89–76 (H)
88–74 (A)
1991–92 FIBA European Cup Preliminary round III Hungary Szolnoki Olaj 100–79 (H)
75–84 (A)
Semi-final round Group B Slovenia Union Olimpija 91–88 (A)
47–84 (H)
Greece Panionios 89–77 (A)
88–76 (H)
Israel Hapoel Galil Elyon 79–74 (H)
78–95 (A)
Spain Real Madrid 75–78 (H)
102–79 (A)
France Pau-Orthez 89–80 (A)
79–90 (H)
1992–93 FIBA European League Preliminary round I Luxembourg Etzella Ettelbruck 72–113 (A)
105–58 (H)
Preliminary round II Israel Maccabi Tel Aviv 75–89 (H)
100–81 (A)
1992–93 FIBA European Cup Preliminary round III Bulgaria CSKA Sofia 111–83 (H)
80–84 (A)
Semi-final round Group B France Cholet Basket 82–98 (A)
84–73 (H)
Croatia Split 60–70 (H)
79–56 (A)
Greece Aris 67–75 (H)
83–72 (A)
Ukraine Budivelnyk 79–77 (A)
88–75 (H)
Israel Hapoel Galil Elyon 74–93 (A)
73–80 (H)
1993–94 FIBA European League Preliminary round I Israel Hapoel Tel Aviv 83–75 (A)
87–67 (H)
Preliminary round II Slovenia Union Olimpija 87–63 (H)
91–76 (A)
Semi-final round Group B Greece Panathinaikos 83–73 (A)
69–76 (H)
Turkey Anadolu Efes 61–77 (H)
80–67 (A)
Italy Pallacanestro Cantù 75–64 (A)
83–64 (H)
Italy Virtus Bologna 102–90 (H)
97–57 (A)
Croatia Cibona 67–66 (H)
75–63 (A)
Spain Joventut Badalona 76–79 (A)
78–89 (H)
France Pau-Orthez 72–80 (A)
72–74 (H)
1994–95 FIBA European League Preliminary round II Hungary Budapest Honvéd SE 85–94 (A)
96–89 (H)
Semi-final round Group A Russia CSKA Moscow 103–61 (A)
102–80 (H)
Slovenia Union Olimpija 81–84 (H)
64–56 (A)
Greece PAOK 74–68 (A)
77–75 (H)
Greece Panathinaikos 49–67 (H)
80–60 (A)
Spain Real Madrid 70–54 (A)
62–66 (H)
Italy Victoria Pesaro 88–75 (A)
69–88 (H)
Israel Maccabi Tel Aviv 81–90 (H)
86–75 (A)
1995–96 FIBA European League Preliminary round II Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Partizan Belgrade 64–64 (A)
112–95 (H)
Semi-final round Group B Croatia Cibona 65–79 (H)
64–59 (A)
France Pau-Orthez 76–61 (A)
99–90 (H)
Israel Maccabi Tel Aviv 74–66 (A)
82–94 (H)
Italy Virtus Bologna 83–85 (H)
97–81 (A)
Greece Panathinaikos 67–51 (A)
96–87 (H)
Spain Real Madrid 73–78 (H)
86–81 (A)
Spain Barcelona 55–76 (H)
106–94 (A)
1996–97 FIBA EuroCup Group C Bulgaria Spartak Pleven 111–98 (A)
95–75 (H)
Germany ratiopharm Ulm 91–81 (H)
82–69 (A)
Israel Hapoel Galil Elyon 78–64 (H)
92–85 (A)
Spain Real Madrid 59–60 (A)
73–76 (H)
Republic of Macedonia MZT Skopje 77–75 (H)
75–73 (A)
Last 16 France Paris Racing 63–81 (H)
80–86 (A)
1997–98 FIBA Korać Cup Additional preliminary round Switzerland Fribourg Olympic 66–67 (H)
63–78 (A)
Group F Netherlands Den Helder Seals 80–56 (H)
63–76 (A)
France Montpellier 86–78 (A)
75–76 (H)
Germany Brose Baskets 93–95 (H)
89–77 (A)
1998–99 FIBA Korać Cup Additional preliminary round Switzerland SAV Vacallo Basket 80–74 (H)
72–84 (A)
Group H Israel Maccabi Rishon 93–99 (H)
74–77 (A)
France Les Mans Sarthe 72–78 (H)
78–65 (A)
Germany Brose Baskets 70–59 (A)
63–69 (H)
2004–05 ULEB Cup Group G Germany Baskets Bonn 71–74 (H)
80–62 (A)
Poland Slask Wroclaw 85–83 (A)
60–70 (H)
Lithuania Lietuvos rytas 74–49 (A)
57–59 (H)
Serbia and Montenegro Red Star Belgrade 66–106 (H)
83–69 (A)
Italy Pompea Napoli 87–82 (A)
67–104 (H)
2010–11 EuroChallenge EuroChallenge qualifying round Ukraine BC Ferro-ZNTU 105–105 (H)
72–77 (A)
Group C Bulgaria Lukoil Academic 92–71 (A)
86–79 (H)
Switzerland Lugano Tigers 89–84 (H)
74–52 (A)
Estonia Tartu Ülikool 80–74 (H)
80–64 (A)
Last 16 Group K Latvia Ventspils 100–65 (A)
71–74 (H)
France Gravelines-Dunkerque 64–67 (H)
91–82 (A)
Sweden Norrköping Dolphins 83–75 (H)
80–74 (A)
2014–15 EuroChallenge Group E Belgium Belfius Mons-Hainaut 69–79 (H)
92–63 (A)
France JSF Nanterre 80–68 (A)
86–96 (H)
Finland Kataja Basket 90–93 (A)
107–82 (H)


Former coaches[edit]

Former notable players[edit]

Won an official title or individual titles


  1. ^ a b c "The History" (in Portuguese). glorioso-triplo.blogspot.com. Retrieved 17 September 2010. 
  2. ^ a b "Benfica gets relegated to the ProLiga" (in Portuguese). serbenfiquista.com. Retrieved 17 September 2010. 
  3. ^ "Benfica vs Virtus Bologna final score". fibaeurope.com. Retrieved 18 September 2010. 
  4. ^ a b "Real Madrid vs Benfica final score". fibaeurope.com. Retrieved 24 October 2010. 
  5. ^ "Benfica vs Pallacanestro Cantù final score". fibaeurope.com. Retrieved 26 January 2013. 
  6. ^ "Benfica vs Cibona final score". fibaeurope.com. Retrieved 26 January 2013. 
  7. ^ "Joventut Badalona vs Benfica final score". fibaeurope.com. Retrieved 18 September 2010. 
  8. ^ a b "Benfica vs Panathinaikos final score". fibaeurope.com. Retrieved 18 September 2010. 
  9. ^ "Benfica vs Partizan final score". fibaeurope.com. Retrieved 26 January 2013. 
  10. ^ a b "Benfica vs CSKA final score". fibaeurope.com. Retrieved 17 September 2010. 
  11. ^ "SL Benfica B". Federação Portuguesa de Basquetebol (in Portuguese). Retrieved 2 October 2012. 
  12. ^ "Semi-final round 1993–94". fibaeurope.com. Retrieved 17 September 2010. 
  13. ^ "Semi-final round 1995–96". fibaeurope.com. Retrieved 17 September 2010. 
  14. ^ "Basquetebol é Tetracampeão!" [Benfica are champions for the fourth consecutive time] (in Portuguese). S.L. Benfica. 30 May 2015. Retrieved 30 May 2015. Supertaça, Taça de Portugal, Troféu Hugo dos Santos, Troféu António Pratas e Campeonato Nacional 
  15. ^ "Benfica derrota V. Guimarães e sagra-se tetracampeão nacional" [Benfica beat V. Guimarães and become national champions four times in a row] (in Portuguese). A Bola. 30 May 2015. Retrieved 31 May 2015. tendo conquistado todos os troféus que houve em disputa. 
  16. ^ a b c d e f "Honours" (in Portuguese). benfica.pt. Retrieved 17 September 2010. 
  17. ^ "Participations in FIBA Europe competitions". fibaeurope.com. Retrieved 13 September 2012. 

External links[edit]