Aris B.C. - Recent History - 2003–04 Season

2003–04 Season

The beginning of the 2003–2004 season found Aris as a nomad inside its own city. Alexandreio Melathron was closed down in order to get renovated for the 2004 Olympic Games, and Aris was obliged to play its home games in the 2,443 seat Ivanofio Indoor Hall, the home court of Iraklis. The season tickets were sold-out and available tickets for each game were out of sight at each occasion. The constant packed atmosphere helped to lead Aris to great moments.

Aris was lucky enough that season to have probably its strongest team in a decade, as the club had well-known players that season like Smush Parker, Toby Bailey, Nestoras Kommatos, Ryan Stack, Feodor Lichkolitov, and Miroslav Raičević. Aris eliminated Iraklis during the Greek Cup and proceeded to the Greek Cup Final Four for the second consecutive season. The Cups Final Four that year was held at Lamia Indoor Hall Halkiopoulio in March.

2,600 Aris fans cheered the team on as they overcame Apollon Patras in the Cup semi-final game and proceeded to the final game against rival Olympiacos. During the Cup final game against Olympiacos, some Olympiacos fans acted out with some serious violent behavior, throwing fire rockets into the stands where the Aris fans were seated and both teams' fans were subsequently forced by the referees to evacuate the arena. Because of the delay caused by this, the game lasted more than 4 hours.

The game continued after the fans were escorted out. Aris' players were able to remain concentrated on the game and were able to pull out the victory by a score of 73–70, giving the club its 8th Greek Cup Championship. The Aris fans that had evacuated the stadium, had remained in their cars to listen to the radio broadcast of the game and had also gathered at roadside cafes and bars in order to be able watch the rest of the game on television.

After the victory, the fans rushed out into the streets to celebrate and were soon joined by the team itself in the street celebration that eventually formed into a celebration convoy that head back to Thessaloniki. At Thessaloniki, Aris' supporters gathered at The White Tower of Thessaloniki, which is the symbol of the city. The team's players climbed up to the top of the White Tower to watch the crowd below them and to celebrate with them.

On the other hand though, that same season Aris was eliminated in the FIBA EuroCup by fellow Greek League club Maroussi and it's rising star player Vassilis Spanoulis. Aris lost the best of 3 games series 2 games to 1 in the final eight round versus Maroussi. That same season Aris was eliminated in the Greek Championship playoffs by AEK Athens, who managed to beat Aris at Ivanofio in the quarterfinals. The Greek League playoff loss to AEK knocked Aris out of a Euroleague position for the next season.

Read more about this topic:  Aris B.C., Recent History

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