After one of the most painful losses in its legendary history, CSKA Moscow returns to the Euroleague with the only ambition of winning the 2012-13 Turkish Airlines Euroleague title. And to do so, it welcomes back the maestro that led the club to its last two Euroleague crowns, Coach Ettore Messina. Last season CSKA led 53-34 in the Euroleague final, but Olympiacos rallied in the final 12 minutes to win it down the stretch. CSKA endured only three losses in the entire Euroleague season and Andrei Kirilenko was chosen as the 2011-12 MVP, but in the end the Muscovites were one basket short of another trophy. CSKA regrouped to win the Russian League title for the 10th consecutive season. That streak and CSKA’s totals of 43 league titles and six Euroleague crowns – tied for the second-most in competition history – demonstrate the impact CSKA has had on Russian and European basketball as one of the sport’s true powers. The club’s greatness goes back many years. CSKA was the dominant force in the Soviet League, where it racked up 25 titles between 1945 and 1990 thanks to legendary players that wore its colors over the years such as Sergei Belov, Vladimir Tkachenko, Gennadiy Volnov, Vladimir Andreev, Anatoli Myshkin and Sergei Tarakanov in addition to head coach Alexander Gomelskiy. CSKA and Real Madrid dominated the European Cup in the 1960s and the team stayed competitive in the 1970s and the mid-1980s. CSKA won its first Euroleague title in 1961 and lifted the trophy again in 1963, 1969 and 1971. The birth of the Russian League gave CSKA a new arena to dominate and it proceeded to win nine consecutive crowns between 1992 and 2000. CSKA returned to the European elite by reaching the Euroleague Final Four in 1996 and the SuproLeague Final Four in 2001 behind a young Kirilenko. Coach Dusan Ivkovic led CSKA to three consecutive Final Fours between 2003 and 2005, as the club became once again the dominant force in Russian basketball. Players like Theodoros Papaloukas, J.R. Holden, David Andersen and Marcus Brown were among those expected to lift CSKA to glory in the 2004-05 season, but despite an incredible 60-4 record in all competitions, CSKA did not win the Euroleague title. That summer, Messina arrived and CSKA reloaded the roster with Matjaz Smodis, Trajan Langdon and David Vanterpool joining Papaloukas and his crew. Massive success followed as CSKA downed two-time defending champion Maccabi in Prague for its first continental crown in 35 years. CSKA made it back to the title game in 2007 and then celebrated its sixth Euroleague championship by again beating Maccabi in the 2008 final. CSKA had a shot to repeat in 2009 after it rallied from 23 down to earn a chance to win at the buzzer, but Ramunas Siskauskas missed from downtown. Messina left that summer, however players like Viktor Khryapa and Sasha Kaun stepped up to lead CSKA to another Final Four appearance and to Russian League and Russian Cup trophies. Its record Final Four run came to an end in 2010-11, but the team regrouped behind returnee Kirilenko and newcomers Nenad Krstic and Milos Teodosic to reach the Euroleague final in 2012. Just when it seemed that CSKA would win another Euroleague title, Olympiacos rallied to lift the trophy in epic fashion. However CSKA comes back led again by Messina and no team will be more motivated to win the competition this season.
Euroleague: 1961, 1963, 1969, 1971, 2006, 2008
Russian National League: 1991/92, 1992/93, 1993/94, 1994/95, 1995/96, 1996/97, 1997/98, 1998/99, 1999/00, 2002/03, 2003/04, 2004/05, 2005/06, 2006/07, 2007/08, 2008/09, 2009/10, 2010/11, 2011/12
Russian National Cup: 2005, 2006, 2007, 2010
USSR National League: 1944/45, 1959/60, 1960/61, 1961/62, 1963/64, 1964/65, 1965/66, 1968/69, 1969/70, 1970/71, 1971/72, 1972/73, 1973/74, 1975/76, 1976/77, 1977/78, 1978/79, 1979/80, 1980/81, 1981/82, 1982/83, 1983/84, 1987/88, 1989/90
USSR National Cup: 1972, 1973, 1982
VTB United League: 2010, 2012