Arena that doesn't exist yet
In the morning, our team, having rested from a day-long flight, practiced at the Laktasi Sports Palace. Players were divided into two groups that worked on the court and in the lifting room. And then the team hurried back to Banja Luka, where the head coach was expected at a press conference. Journalists gathered at the National Tennis Center, where Novak Djokovic recently played on the center court, and now strong European basketball teams will be playing.
“The [local] club has a rich history that began in 1973, including participation in many European competitions, and now continues in the Adriatic League and the Champions League,” Emil Rajkovic said. “Thanks to the hosts for the invitation and hospitality, they are proud to host CSKA, we see this from the first minutes of being in the country.”
The organizers, indeed, readily resolve any issues that arise, and the conditions for CSKA's placement can be praised. As for the arena, there is no parquet here yet. But preparations are about to be completed - stands are growing around to accommodate six thousand fans, a concrete floor is ready to be cover by the basketball court.
“It will be interesting to play in the open air,” Emil Rajkovic says. “It will be interesting to play with this opponent, who is fast and tough, presses all over the court. I hope that three games in Banja Luka will be useful.”
Starting the second stage
Like the red-blues, the hosts have already started a series of pre-season matches. Igokea travelled to Belgrade, where they beat German Oldenburg (79-73, Tanasovic - 15, Nakic, Jeremic - 12 each, Atic - 10) and lost to the Serbian Mega (67-79, Delalic - 12, Jeremic, Maric - 11 each, Nikolic, Tanaskovic - 10 each).
“This is the second stage of our preparation,” Rajkovic summed up. “Now we will take part in games that could not be organized at home, in Russia. We will meet with other rivals representing different basketball schools, using different tactics. The tournament will be the next step to gain a good team shape. After the next stage, the tournament in Turkey, we should be ready for the start of the season.”
Igokea - CSKA. National Tennis Center. 21:00 Moscow time
Hapoel - Turk Telecom. Laktasi. 18:00 Moscow time
Igokea - Galatasaray. Laktasi. 21:00 Moscow time
Galatasaray - CSKA. Laktasi. 18:00 Moscow time
Partizan - Hapoel. Laktasi. 21:00 Moscow time
Turk Telecom - Partizan. National Tennis Center. 19:30 Moscow time
Game for 5th place. Laktasi. 15:30 Moscow time
Game for 3rd place. Laktasi. 18:00 Moscow time
Final. National Tennis Center. 21:00 Moscow time
As a reminder, all tournament games will be shown by our official partner Okko. In particular, broadcasts are available at this link. All you need to do is register on the service.
Igokea (Alexandrovac, Bosnia and Herzegovina)
Colors: dark blue, sky blue, white
Home arena: Laktasi Sports Palace (3,000 spectators)
General Manager: Igor Dodik
Head Coach: Vladimir Jovanovic