Club profile: CSKA Moscow

Jul 01, 2014 by Print
Sasha Kaun celebrates - CSKA Moscow - EB13
CSKA MoscowWith a new man Dimitris Itoudis in charge on the bench, one of the all-time basketball heavyweights and six-time continental champion CSKA Moscow comes back with the same lofty goals. Last season CSKA successfully navigated through its Turkish Airlines Euroleague campaign, along the way breaking Euroleague record for average assists in the Top 16 and making it all the way to the Final Four for the 11th time in 12 seasons. But its title hopes ended with a heartbreaking semifinal loss to eventual champion Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv. However, CSKA bounced back, winning a VTB United League crown to end the season on a high. Founded in 1924, CSKA was the dominant force in the Soviet League, racking up 24 titles between 1945 and 1990, with legendary players wearing its colors over the years such as Sergei Belov, Vladimir Tkachenko, Gennadiy Volnov, Vladimir Andreev, Anatoli Myshkin and Sergei Tarakanov in addition to Hall of Fame head coach Alexander Gomelskiy. CSKA and Real Madrid dominated the European Cup in the 1960s and the team remained competitive in the 1970s and through 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 Andrei Kirilenko. The club became once again the dominant force in Russian basketball, and Coach Dusan Ivkovic led CSKA to three consecutive Final Fours between 2003 and 2005. Standing out was the 2004-05 season, when team compiled an incredible 60-4 record in all competitions, but did not win the Euroleague title. That summer, Coach Ettore Messina arrived, and to a team with Theo Papaloukas, J.R. Holden, David Andersen and Marcus Brown, added Matjaz Smodis, Trajan Langdon and David Vanterpool. Massive success followed with four consecutive championship game appearances. In 2006 the team downed two-time defending champion Maccabi in Prague for its first continental crown in 35 years. CSKA lost to Panathinaikos Athens in 2007, but then celebrated its sixth Euroleague championship by again beating Maccabi in the 2008 final. A year later, CSKA rallied from 23 down against Panathinaikos, but Ramunas Siskauskas missed a chance for back-to-back crowns when his shot from downtown at the buzzer missed. CSKA returned to the Final Four in 2010 and reloaded in 2011-12 season with Nenad Krstic, Milos Teodosic and Kirilenko - who would earn Euroleague MVP honors that season - only to let a 19-point lead slip in the Euroleague Championship Game against Olympiacos. With Messina back to the bench, CSKA’s past two seasons ended in the Final Four semis, with losses to the eventual champions Olympiacos and Maccabi. Always one of the favorites to win it all, CSKA comes back eager and motivated to again contend for Euroleague glory.
Turkish Airlines Euroleague: Final Four
VTB League: Champion