CSKA Moscow guard Sergio Rodriguez admits that Thursday’s game against old side Real Madrid in the Spanish capital will be a weird experience.
Rodriguez spent six years with Real between 2010 and 2016. He won the EuroLeague title in 2015 and the MVP award the year before.
The 31-year-old left the Spanish capital in 2016, and headed to the Philadelphia 76ers on a one-year deal. Despite positive showings, Rodriguez failed to secure an extension on his contract.
“I have so many good memories about that place, it will be a bit weird to play there not in Real Madrid or national team uniform,” Rodriguez said.
“But I am really happy here with CSKA and look forward to playing in Palacio, in front of Madrid’s fans.
“I believe it will be something that I will remember forever. Real has a great team, most of them are playing there for a long time under Pablo Laso, who is a great coach. So they know how to play together. We have to be focused from the beginning and to try to get advantage from what we have.”
Rodriguez’s debut for CSKA last week saw him go for 20 points in their 93-84 win against Olimpia Milano. Madrid coach Pablo Laso stated that Rodriguez isn’t the only person that his side has to stop on Thursday night.
CSKA has an open style with many players able to do the pick and roll, shooting from outside and generating many game situations with De Colo, Westermann, Higgins and Rodriguez,” Laso said.
“Inside, they are a powerful team especially in speed and intensity with Hines and Hunter. We also have to remember about the shooting abilities of Kurbanov, Antonov and Vorontsevich.
“CSKA is a complete team and it’s hard to focus your attention on a single player. Stopping Sergio will be important to win but it’s not an obsession. My obsession is beating CSKA and CSKA has great players.”