The Barça He finished as the leader of the regular phase and, perhaps because of that and the basket displayed for months, many will consider him the great favorite. But do not forget that the CSKA ended with the same win-loss balance as the Catalans, 24-10, and won by a clear 3-0 at Fenerbahçe in the quarterfinal playoff. With this, the Russian team is the one with the best overall performance this season in the competition.
After being suspended last season due to the irruption of the health crisis, the CSKA will defend in Cologne his status as current champion after winning the 2019 final. He will do so as second seed after the Barça and faced with what many consider to be another of the great candidates for the title, the Anadolu
EfesPerhaps the best team in the second round but that ended with two fewer wins and suffered against Madrid in the playoff.
With the technician Dimitris
Itoudis recently renovated, the CSKA comes to Cologne in a moment of stability after having lived through a stormy season. Since January, his main signing, the Serbian center Milutinov, has not been able to play because of a shoulder injury and three days before the end of the regular season he got rid of his great star, Mike
James, who starred in a confrontation with the coach that ended up costing him the job. Despite the convulsions and instability, the team achieved twelve consecutive wins, one of the best streaks of the season, between matchdays 6 and 17.
Without James, the CSKA managed to win the last three regular season games, swept the Fenerbahçe in the quarterfinals and entered the playoff VTB with strength winning in the quarterfinals and advancing to Zenit in the semifinals.´
“It is clear that while Itoudis is still at the club, Mike cannot be with us,” he said. Andrey Vatutin, head of the club in a recent interview. James, who has finally been able to land on the Brooklyn
Nets of the NBA provisionally until the end of the season, continues with a contract with the CSKA until 2023, the same year that the new contract for Itoudis.
Their 3-0 triumph in the quarterfinal playoff confirms the good moment of the Russians despite the loss of James and is that only five teams in the history of the Euroleague have managed to sweep their opponents in the playoffs leading up to the Final
Four, which since 2009 have played the best of five games.
Concentrated on the Euroleague, the historic team of Moscow has suffered more in domestic competition, in his case the VTB, in which he finished fourth of the regular phase. His competitive nature, however, suggests that in the end, facing all these problems and overcoming obstacles, he will be back where he is expected.