Game 1 @ Moscow, April 10, 18:00 CET:
CSKA Moscow 89-78
Caja Laboral Vitoria, serie 1-0
Game 2 @ Moscow, April 12, 18:00 CET
CSKA Moscow 90-68
Caja Laboral Vitoria, serie 2-0
Game 3 @ Vitoria, April 17, 20:45 CET:
Caja Laboral Vitoria 93-72
CSKA Moscow, serie 2-1
Game 4 @ Vitoria, April 19, 20:30 CET:
Caja Laboral Vitoria 85-94
CSKA Moscow, serie 3-1
WATCH VIDEO PREVIEW OF THE SERIES
Russian champion CSKA Moscow enters the playoffs on a six-game winning streak and as the Top 16 Group E champion. A year after reaching the Turkish Airlines Euroleague title game last season, the club has been among the competition’s toughest teams this year under the tutelage of Coach Ettore Messina, back for his second stint with CSKA. The squad recorded the second-best average performance index rating in the league and was the top three-point shooting team. Claiming the home-court advantage for the playoffs is of great significance for CSKA; it is 20-2 in the Russian capital over the past two seasons. Moreover, CSKA, which has never lost a series in seven previous playoffs appearances, is 11-1 in playoff homes games. CSKA’s deep squad features two former Euroleague MVPs, Milos Teodosic and Theo Papaloukas; four current or former All-Euroleague selections, Victor Khryapa, Nenad Krstic, Teodosic and Papaloukas; October bwin MVP Sonny Weems and four players to have claimed weekly MVP honors this season: Sasha Kaun, Teodosic, Krstic and Weems.
Despite a midseason coaching change and some roster flux, Caja Laboral Vitoria rallied to win four of its last five games and reach the playoffs. Coach Zan Tabak had Vitoria as one of the hottest teams in the league when he first took over; they won the last three regular season games and the first four of the Top 16. The team eventually placed fourth in Group F with an 8-6 record. Statistically Caja Laboral does not stand out in any particular category, but when Vitoria’s offense gets going, it is tough to beat; Caja Laboral has won its last eight games in which it scored at least 80 points. Forward Andres Nocioni and center Maciej Lampe have been among the top contributors for Caja Laboral this season in general and during its recent hot run in particular. Nemanja Bjelica and Thomas Heurtel are each enjoying breakout campaigns, while former All-Euroleague selection Fernando San Emeterio and defensive-minded center Tibor Pleiss anchor the bench. Together they have given Tabak the pieces to form a tough and exciting team.