04.02.2003
The Italian club Virtus is CSKA's opponent in the Army team's final home game in the first round of the Euroleague. Virtus will have two practices in the Russian capital: a morning and evening one. Center David Andersen will not be able to play in the game due to a shoulder injury. Furthermore, newly acquired guard Eric Murdock has experienced back problems.
Club News
Matjaz Smodis: We want to play well
The Italian club Virtus is CSKA's opponent in the Army team's final home game in the first round of the Euroleague. Virtus will have two practices in the Russian capital: a morning and evening one. Center David Andersen will not be able to play in the game due to a shoulder injury. Furthermore, newly acquired guard Eric Murdock has experienced back problems.

The Italian club is not in the best state of mind. They have lost two games in a row by large margins (to Ulker in the Euroleague and Pompea Napoli in the Italian league) and have had problems with their fans (recently the club president has stopped attending games for fear of being attacked).

It's hard to find a player on the team who would agree to talk to the press, even more so to talk to an opponent's web site. However, with the help of Virtus press attache Silvia Votan we were able to do it. The most talkative turned out to be the Slovenian forward Matjaz Smodis.

"This is a very important game for us. We have to finally get the job done and move on to the second stage of the Euroleague," said Smodis. "But probably our position in the standings is not the most important thing for the team. Recently we haven't just played bad, we've played really bad. No we need to get better. It's very difficult to beat CSKA at home, especially considering the difficulties in our roster that have come up before the game, but we need to try to at least play well. I hope it works out."

Is the team planning to make big adjustments before the Top 16 starts?

"We need to get our heads together. Our roster isn't bad, though it will be difficult to match our achievements in past years, so we need to take things into our own hands."

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