Euroleague Basketball
Photo: EuroLeague Basketball

CSKA Moscow coach Dimitris Itoudis will approach the new year with the same humble yet competitive attitude that has seen his side reach the top of the EuroLeague table.

The Muscovites defeated Baskonia 90-81 in their final game of 2017 to see them maintain top spot but also be up there on their own following Olympiacos’ loss away to Zalgiris.

Playing a physically demanding team saw Itoudis shake things up and he was pleased with the results.

“Our defensive stops were key, but not from the beginning because we had a bad start,” said Itoudis.

“We had to shake it up a little bit and find the right chemistry, and we came back very soon. The players realised we had to play more physical and more aggressive at both ends. Our defence in the second and fourth quarters contained a very physical and aggressive team, and a win is a win in this marathon.”

With the first half of the EuroLeague season now in the books, Itoudis is happy where CSKA are right now but knows that there is more work to be done.

“We’re approaching the second leg of EuroLeague being humble and dedicated. We’re in the first spot but we’ve only had 15 games. We’re happy to be first but we have to work hard and be better with every practice.

“We know there are a lot of quality teams out there from 1 to 16, with pride, quality and the desire to play in the highest competition in Europe. We are humble, we’re going to work and see what we have, but we have tough games ahead of us.”