29.10.2005
The game against Dynamo St. Petersburg was a key to the most actual today’s questions: why did CSKA fail so unexpectedly to Spartak in previous match and what was the reason of defeat? Was it a logical or accidental loss?
Report
CSKA - Dynamo St. Petersburg: 95-88
The game against Dynamo St. Petersburg was a key to the most actual today’s questions: why CSKA failed so unexpectedly to Spartak in the previous match and what was the reason for defeat? Was it a logical or an accidental loss? Army club supporters impatiently waited to receive concrete answers and the moment was chosen correctly – Dynamo level of play is definitely not worse than their principal’s rivals’ from North Capital.

CSKA – Dynamo St.Petersburg: 95-88

Looking at Army men’s faces it seems they were ready to fulfill fans’ expectations. However, the start of the game was disappointing for CSKA – Dynamo started with a 14-6 run. Messina's time-out was helpful – 6 points from Smodis and Holden’s successful attempt from behind the arc made the score equal again – 15-15. After that teams decided to set up a free-throw competition - players from both sides were almost perfect from the line. The end of the quarter marked a slight Dynamo’s advantage – 27-28.
Second quarter was slow enough: no one wanted to lay its cards on the table. At the same time CSKA showed that it has a lot of three-point threats in the squad – Smodis, Holden and Langdon demonstrated their offensive skills with great pleasure. The last minute of the second was rather symbolic: two heroes of this period - Smodis and Holden – managed to organize a rash fast-break – 52-45. But the last word was left to Dynamo – 52-48.

First 4 minutes of the third quarter brought only 4 points to CSKA. The period came hard to CSKA – players couldn’t make their shots and there was no team game on the court. Of course, Dynamo took this occasion: three main leaders of St. Petersburg team – Askrabic, McCullough and McCarty – did everything to comeback - 67-71 and a serious strength test for new CSKA.

Fortunately, CSKA passed this test. And it was really tough – three “bombs” from behind the arc by Miljkovic forced Army men to find themselves in a tight corner – 74-80. But then there were seven CSKA points in row and Katsikaris’ time-out. To be honest, it didn’t help a lot – our team became completely unstoppable. Langdon’s two clutch “threes” produced a storm of applause in Universal Sport Hall – 91-84. Tactical fouls on Papaloukas were in vain – Greek kept his nerves easily – 95-88.


CSKA head coach Ettore Messina:

- The game was a little bit uptight in the beginning. We did not shoot well but played good offence. We had a hard time trying to stop the extremely good offence of the rival. I am happy that in the crucial moments of the game we got help from our veteran player Sergey Panov. I guess his play was the key to the game. The other good thing is that all the team did not lost concentration and focus when we had hard times loosing by some points and when it seemed that we can loose the rhythm of the game.

Dynamo SPb head coach Fotis Katsikaris:

- I am not happy of the way we played, especially of the spirit. No good defense like we usually play. It was normal for CSKA to react on it in the certain moments especially in the last minutes. We let CSKA to have some open shots and basically to win the game. We made the mistakes in the last minutes that almost presented the game to CSKA.

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