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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

CSKA Banking on Beating Greek Champs

CSKA Moscow's new financial agreement with Uneximbank, one of Russia's largest banks, has not only saved Russia's flagship basketball franchise from bankruptcy but provided a welcome fillip ahead of its most important game of the season.


CSKA hosts its old nemesis, Olympiakos of Greece, in a crucial Euroleague game Wednesday. Adding luster to the game is the long-standing bad feeling between the two teams.


The Russians have not forgotten how half their team suddenly fell ill 2 1/2 years ago after the players drank water supplied by the Greeks. Trailing in Group A and coming off a close loss to Real in Madrid last week, CSKA desperately needs a home victory against the defending Euroleague champion to stay in the hunt for the top three qualifying spots.


Meanwhile, Olympiakos' multinational lineup, including last season's European Player of the Year Arturas Karnishovas, arrives in Moscow with a perfect 6-0 record knowing that a win against CSKA would almost certainly guarantee the first-place team passage into the next round.


It remains to be seen if the financial backing by Uneximbank is enough to propel the six-time Russian champion over the powerful Greek club.


"At least now we can finally breathe a sigh of relief and not worry about how to pay our players," said CSKA head Viktor Petrakov.