Saski Baskonia SAD is a Spanish professional basketball club from the Basque city of Vitoria-Gasteiz. Outside of Spain, the club is more often referred to as TAU Cerámica, a brand name of ceramics manufacturer TAULELL, which has sponsored the club since 1987. Originally, TAULELL put another of its brand names, Taugres, on the team, changing to today's TAU Cerámica in 1997. Baskonia, TAU Baskonia, and TAU are also frequently used to refer to the team.
Through outstanding scouting and shrewd management, Tau has built a squad that has been to three straight Final Fours and now is looking to take the last step to becoming a Euroleague champion. Tau's first trophy of any kind came in 1995, the Spanish King's Cup, when Pablo Laso and Velimir Perasović led the team to an historical win. The club was already making noise internationally too, reaching the Saporta Cup final in both 1994 and 1995. When it hosted the same title game in 1996, Baskonia pleased its many fans by downing PAOK Thessaloniki behind 31 points from Ramon Rivas. Tau made its first Spanish Championship playoff final in 1998 and added a second Spanish King's Cup title in 1999.
Then found quick success in the newborn Euroleague. With a deep roster featuring Elmer Bennett, Saulius Štombergas, Victor Alexander, Fabricio Oberto and a young Luis Scola, Tau reached the 2000-01 Euroleague playoff final series before losing to Kinder Bologna in the fifth and final game on the road. With winning momentum and the additions of Dejan Tomašević and Andres Nocioni, Tau celebrated the next season with another Spanish King's Cup trophy and its first Spanish League title ever. Trophy lifting became a habit now. Tau snatched two more Spanish King's Cups, in 2004 and 2006, as Luis Scola and Pablo Prigioni played decisive roles, and success followed the team in the Euroleague. Tau’s arrival to its first Final Four in 2005 couldn’t have been louder, as the team upset favored host CSKA Moscow in the semifinals, but couldn’t overcome defending champ Maccabi in the title game. Back home, Tau again reached the Spanish League finals, only to lose in dramatic fashion. Tau returned to the Final Four in 2006 but once again Maccabi stood in its way, this time in the semifinal. The team also made it to the Spanish League finals, but was swept there. Last season, Tau won its Euroleague regular season and Top 16 groups before sweeping Olympiacos in the Quarterfinal Playoffs as Scola became the Euroleague’s top all-time scorer. Nonetheless, eventual champion Panathinaikos downed Tau in the semifinals and once home again in Spain, Tau lost in the playoff semifinals. Coming so close, but walking away without any trophies is sure to make Tau as hungry as ever going forward. With a solid track record for building some of the most competitive teams in the world, it is safe to say that Tau is always a top candidate for Euroleague greatness.