Exactly 200 days later, big basketball returns to the capital of Kazakhstan! In the first home game of the new VTB United League season basketball club “Astana» will host CSKA Moscow.
— The match will be held without spectators, with empty stands.
is a Russian professional men's basketball club from Moscow, founded in 1923. This season, in addition to participating in the VTB United League, the club plays in the Euroleague.
• USSR Champion — 1945, 1960-1962, 1964-1966, 1969-1974, 1976-1984, 1988, 1990
• Champion of Russia — 1992-2000, 2003-2019
• Winner of the USSR Cup — 1972, 1973, 1982
• Winner of the Russian Cup — 2005-2007, 2010
• Winner of the European Champions Cup — 1960/1961, 1962/1963, 1968/1969, 1970/1971
• NEBL Champion — 1999/2000
• Euroleague Champion — 2005/2006, 2007/2008, 2015/2016
• Champion of VTB United League — 2009/2010, 2011/2012-2018 / 19
• Silver medalist of VTB United League — 2010/2011
The CSKA lineup of the past and this season is not so different. 12 players immediately continued their contracts with the Moscow club, among them the main backbone of the team — Mike James, Daniel Hackett, Joel Bolomboy, Nikita Kurbanov, Darran Hilliard, Johannes Voigtmann, Janis Strelnieks, Semen Antonov and Ivan Ukhov, as well as young players Andrey Lopatin and Alexander Khomenko. In addition, Will Clyburn returned to the game shape, having missed almost the entire last season due to injury. In the offseason, Red Army’s captain Kyle Hynes left the club and moved to the Italian side of Olympia Milan, and his position was taken by Nikita Kurbanov. In addition, CSKA parted ways with another major player — Andrey Vorontsevich. Also, Kosta Koufos, Howard Sant-Roos, and Mikhail Kulagin left the team, Mikhail remained in VTB and now a part of Enisey.
As for the newcomers, there are only two of them. Serbian center Nikola Milutinov, who started his professional career very young; at the age of fifteen, he already played for the Serbian club Hemofarm, and then moved to Partizan, with whom he twice became the champion of Serbia and once won the Adriatic League. Nicola spent the last five seasons at Olympiacos, Greece. During this time, he became the champion of Greece, played twice in the Greek All-Star Game, and received the title of The Most Improved Player in the Greek championship in 2017. It is also worth noting that Milutinov was drafted by the San Antonio Spurs. The second newcomer to the team was the Georgian forward Tornike Shengelia, who started his career in the Spanish club “Valencia”. Already at the beginning of his career with Valencia”, he became the Eurocup Titleholder. Then there were two seasons in Belgium in the teams RBC Pepinster and Charleroi. After that, he moved overseas where he signed a contract with the Brooklyn Nets team and played for the Springfield Armor. In 2014, he spent a couple of months with the Chicago Bulls. Tornike spent the last six years in Spain at the Basque Country, where he proved himself excellently in the Spanish Championship and the Euroleague, and last season he became the champion of Spain.
Leaders of the rival team:
This will be the first game of the VTB League season for CSKA, but they won the Neva and Gomelsky Cups in the preseason. The team has more than enough leaders. The first who comes to mind is Mike James, but even without him, there are a lot of strong players in The Army club: Joel Bolomboy, Daniel Hackett, Darran Hilliard, and Nikita Kurbanov, as well as Janis Strelnieks, Johannes Voigtmann, and Semen Antonov. Will Clayburn, who recovered from an injury, can also show an excellent game, and newcomers Nikola Milutinov and Tornike Shengelia will also direct all their efforts to upset their opponents more often.
Dimitris Itoudis has long been associated with CSKA and has long been leading the team. Itoudis received his first coaching experience in 1990 in Croatia (then Yugoslavia) in the system of the Zagreb Basketball Club. After five years with the Croatian team, he returned to Greece, wherein 4 years he managed to work with such clubs as PAOK, Panionios, Filippos, and MENT. In 1999 he became an assistant coach for the Panathinaikos team and held this position for the next 13 years. During this time, Dimitris, as an assistant coach, became the Euroleague champion 5 times, the Greek champion 11 times and the Greek Cup 7 times. After Panathinaikos, Itoudis headed the Turkish Banvit in the 2013/2014 season, but he did not stay in Turkey. The very next season, he went to Russia and headed CSKA. With CSKA, Dimitris Itoudis won the Euroleague twice and twice won the Euroleague Coach of the Year award. In 6 seasons, when he headed CSKA, he became the winner of the VTB United League and the champion of Russia, except for the last season, when the VTB League was not played to the end. He was Coach of the Year three times and in 2017 became the head coach of the World Stars team at the VTB United League All-Star Game.
For both teams, the upcoming match will be the first in the new VTB United League season, so they are in the same position — so far without points.
“Astana” and CSKA have met 18 times in their history. The first games took place in the 2013/2014 season, then the “Army team” were both times victorious over the Kazakh club. In the next season, CSKA was both times a winner in the regular season and knocked out “Astana” from the 1/8 finals of the playoff series in three games. Our team was unable to defeat Moscow's club in the next season, losing 2 games and in the following, also losing 2 games in the regular season and again three matches in the 1/8 finals. The last three seasons CSKA also celebrated victory in all four games played.
- The General Manager of Astana, Valeriy Tikhonenko, played for CSKA at the beginning of his career, back in the USSR, and ended his career in the Moscow club, with which he became the champion of Russia three times. Moreover, for the next 2 years, at the end of his player's career, he headed the CSKA coaching staff.
- Over the past four seasons, “Astana” for the third time started the season in the VTB League with a match against CSKA at home.
- CSKA is still the only team in the VTB United League that has never lost to “Astana”.
The match will take place on Wednesday, September 23 in Nur-Sultan at the arena of the Republican cycle track «Saryarka», beginning at 19:30, Astana time. Online broadcast of the match will be available on our website in the Match Center
section, as well as live on the QazSport
Detailed information about the tournament, tournament tables, schedule, and match results are published in the Tournaments