23.10.2006
We asked the CSKA head coach Ettore Messina to make a summary of the preseason preparations and to tell us about the plans of the team...
Interview
Ettore Messina: I expect a lot from our young players
We asked the CSKA head coach Ettore Messina to make a summary of the preseason preparations and to tell us about the plans of the team.

- We started to prepare for the seaso on August, 31st. We played 14 games in a month and a half including four in the NBA Europe Live Tour. The most important for us were two things. First, was to help David Andersen to get back to basketball after 8 months of absence because of the injury. Second, was to adapt Anton Ponkrashov to our system of play.

Even if one team did not change the players, the chemistry of it changes anyhow. What do you think would be the changes for CSKA this season?

- We do not have Panov this year. He played an important role in the team as a true captain and it differs a lot for the leadership and the chemistry. We have to find a right place on the team for David Andersen and Anton Ponkrasov. And for the others it is also important to find the right place. It is too early to say we are done with it.

CSKA has a lot of young players on the roster. What kind of progress do you expect them to make during the season?

- Last year Nikita Kurbanov made the best improvement in the Russian league. I hope that he would be able to keep on working the same way and to prove he is really worth it. The same goes to Anton Ponkrashov. For him also it is important to learn to play for the first class team. In general I expect much from our players, I hope not too much.

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