CSKA Moscow superstar Andrei Kirilenko led CSKA Moscow to the 2012 Final Four with a fantastic individual performance in their 73-71 Game 4 road win at Gescrap BB. He scored 23 points and 8 rebounds for a performance index rating of 29, which made him the Playoffs Game 4 bwin MVP. He has been truly inspirational in leading the Russians to an impressive 18-2 record this season and they are now set to clash with reigning champions Panathinaikos in the Euroleague Final Four.
A bad run of injuries and some coaching changes led to a poor performance from CSKA last season and they failed to advance past the regular season. That has all changed this term as CSKA regrouped under coach Jonas Kazlauskas to win the Russian League for a ninth consecutive season and record a perfect 10/10 in the regular season. CSKA had reached a record eight straight Euroleague Final Fours prior to last year’s surprising failure but they are now a force to be reckoned with as they prepare for their Final Four showdown with Panathinaikos.
They have a proud history in basketball and CSKA’s totals of 42 league titles and six Euroleague crowns perfectly illustrate the impact CSKA has had on Russian and European basketball as one of the sport’s leading powers. CSKA won its first Euroleague title in 1961, followed by further titles in 1963, 1969 and 1971. They became totally dominant in the Russian League, winning nine consecutive crowns between 1992 and 2000. They reached the Euroleague Final Four in 1996 and the SuproLeague Final Four in 2001 behind a young Andrei Kirilenko. Coach Dusan Ivkovic led CSKA to three consecutive Final Fours between 2003 and 2005 with the likes of Theodoros Papaloukas, J.R. Holden, David Andersen and Marcus Brown among those expected to lift CSKA to glory in the 2004-05 season. Despite a remarkable 60-4 record in all competitions, CSKA did not win the Euroleague title.
Ettore Messina took over as coach that summer and CSKA and success immediately followed as CSKA defeated 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 beating Maccabi again in 2008. They lost a thrilling repeat clash in 2009 to signal the end of Messina’s reign as coach. This year’s resurgence, led by Kirilenko, has established them as a leading contender to clinch their seventh Euroleague title.
Don't miss your chance to watch CSKA’s clash with Panathinaikos in the semi-finals in the 2012 Turkish Airlines Euroleague Final Four! The event takes take place over the weekend 11th to 13th. Book now with Ticket2Final.com to reserve your tickets at face value!