Our main team will play at the Dynamo Sports Palace on Lavochkina street for the first time in almost 18 years. The team is hosted by VTB United League newcomer Runa...
In another life
The arena where the red-blues will play is both new and very familiar to the club. Now it is home to the youth team, so at least three army players - Philip Gafurov, Anton Kardanakhishvili and Samson Ruzhentsev - played on this floor in the Superleague.
But in the top division of Russian basketball, only Nikita Kurbanov, who suspended his career, played here. The last official game by CSKA main team was played here on February 4, 2006. Then the young players of the current squad were just 4-6 years old...
By the way, the Dynamo Sports Palace sometimes served as our team’s home gym – in the 90s, the team often even hosted Euroleague games here.
A matter of principle
Among all those who share a common past in the two clubs, Oleg Bartunov is especially worth mentioning. Current assistant to Emil Rajkovic was Runa’s head coach for three seasons and led the team to the Superleague finals twice. But when the club moved to a new level, the Muscovites' leadership relied on the Turkish specialist Erturul Erdogan - and Bartunov went to work on the CSKA staff.
The meeting with the red-and-blue will be important for two Runa players - Danila Pokhodyaev and Kirill Savin, graduates of the CSKA youth project. We are pleased that both are an important part of the opponents’ rotation this season.
From newcomers to leaders
Both of the mentioned factors - promotion and the arrival of Erturul Erdogan - seriously influenced the formation of the squad. All six foreigners on the Muscovites’ roster are newcomers, and all of them are leaders both in terms of playing time and statistical contribution to success. Separately, it is worth noting Runa's top scorer Cameron Young (18.3 points) and Jeremiah Hill, well known for his performances for Astana and Parma (16.3 points, 5.4 rebounds, 5.2 assists). The veteran center Alex Tyus (8.3 points, 5.1 rebounds, 1.6 blocks), who has nine seasons on his resume and ranks fifth all-time in blocked shots in the EuroLeague, is also an important part of the team.
“Even though Runa is a newcomer of the league, they are playing really good basketball this season and it is not just by a chance”, CSKA head coach Emil Rajkovic said. “They are deep and well-balanced team, with a number of high quality and experienced players. There guards are creating the most of their offense. Our task will be to guard their pick-n-rolls well and to stop the transition game.”
In nine games, Runa has six victories, including away win over the current champion UNICS. In the previous game Erdogan’s team unexpectedly lost to Enisey on their home floor, which means that on Saturday they will step on the court with increased motivation.
Year founded: 2017
Colors: black, green, purple
Home arena: Dynamo Sports Palace (5000)
General Manager: Sergey Yukhnevich
Head Coach: Erturul Erdogan
Trophy case: 2-time Superleague runners-up (2022, 2023), Superleague-2 bronze winner (2019), Russian Cup bronze winner (2022)