MOSCOW, May 1. Head coach of the CSKA basketball club Emil Raikovich called the injuries of Alexei Shved and Nikola Milutinov one of the reasons for the team's unsuccessful play in the playoffs of the VTB United League.
On Monday CSKA lost to Lokomotiv-Kuban Krasnodar in overtime in the seventh match of the series and for the first time in history did not reach the final of the tournament. The Swede was injured during the season, Milutinov missed several matches of the series against Krasnodar.
“A tough defeat. Congratulations to Lokomotiv on reaching the final. Problems this season came to us at a key moment, injuries to Shved and Milutinov did not allow us to be in the best shape. It was a series of seven matches, where it was very important there was a physical condition that turned out to be better for Lokomotiv basketball players,” Rajkovic said at a press conference broadcast on the club's official YouTube channel.
“The main reasons are that Aleksey has not played for two months from -for a thigh muscle injury, but we were forced to return him to the squad. He played with a foot that he shouldn't have played with. We are very dependent on these two players. There was a certain pressure, but we are professionals and we must be able to cope with the pressure. It turned out what happened. It's a pity that throughout the season we showed good basketball, went first, but then we had a period when we couldn't show it,” the coach added.
CSKA is a 10-time winner of the VTB United League , the capital club failed to win the title for the second time in a row – last season the team lost in the final to Zenit St. Petersburg (3-4).