Six-time continental champion and a perennial Turkish Airlines Euroleague favorite CSKA Moscow has its sights set on changing its fortunes and regaining the Euroleague glory that has eluded the club in recent years. Last season CSKA won its first 15 games of the season and dominated its Turkish Airlines Euroleague campaign by posting the best record in the competition on its way to reaching the Final Four for the 12th time in 13 seasons. But its title hopes ended with a heartbreaking semifinal loss to Olympiacos Piraeus. However, CSKA bounced back and swept through the VTB United League playoffs to win that crown at the end of the season. Founded in 1924, CSKA was the dominant force in the Soviet League with 24 titles between 1945 and 1990. Legendary players wore 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 once again became the undisputed 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 Euroleague 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 for the 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. In the two seasons that followed, with Messina back on the bench, CSKA got back to the Final Four semis, but lost to eventual champions Olympiacos and Maccabi. Despite having gone through another emotional loss last season in Madrid, one of the all-time basketball heavyweights comes back with even more motivation and the same goal of winning every game in each competition it enters.
2014-15 Results - Euroleague: semifinals; VTB League: Winner;