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GB's Pops Mensah-Bonsu relishing CSKA Moscow chance

Pops Mensah-Bonsu
Mensah-Bonsu was keen to play more regularly

Great Britain forward Pops Mensah-Bonsu says he is relishing the opportunity to make an impact with his new club, Russian giants CSKA Moscow.

Mensah-Bonsu struggled to get minutes on court in the NBA during spells with Houston and Toronto this season and moved to Moscow in January.

"This is a great team," he said. "One of the better teams in the EuroLeague."

"I was tired not having the opportunity to play," he added. "I wanted to come to Europe to improve as a player."

Mensah-Bonsu's move has landed him at one of the strongest clubs in Europe and one of the favourites for this year's Euroleague title.

"With my presence in the team I feel like I can help them reach the last four if not further," he told BBC Sport.

CSKA started the second phase of their Euroleague campaign with an 86-78 home win over Malaga, in which Mensah-Bonsu found himself up against GB team-mates Robert Archibald and Joel Freeland.

Malaga and CSKA are two of the 16 teams attempting to reach May's Euroleague Final Four tournament in Paris.

"I don't know that I've done anything yet to be popular in Moscow. Hopefully in a couple of weeks' time everyone will see exactly why I'm here."

Mensah-Bonsu is already logging more minutes per game in Moscow than he was in two frustrating months in the NBA but admits he is feeling the effects of his inactivity.

"I've come from situations in Houston and Toronto where I didn't play too much so I'm a little slow as far as the system and playing in that type of game," he said.

"It's going to come, though. I'm a professional and I know how to adjust to these sort of things.

"I'm not really consumed by the NBA. I'm here till the end of the season and we'll see how it goes. If I have a chance to come back that would be great."

"A couple of other teams were interested as well as Moscow but if I was coming to Europe I felt this would be the first team I would come to.

"It's one of the great teams and I would become part of history."

But adjusting to his new surroundings has not been quite so easy.

"The other day I got lost in Moscow for a couple of hours," he admitted. "The battery was dead on my mobile phone and I only found my street by luck. I got home but it was an interesting experience. "

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see also
Mensah-Bonsu makes Moscow switch
12 Jan 10 |  Basketball
Great Britain want settled star
09 Jan 10 |  Basketball
Toronto release GB's Mensah-Bonsu
05 Jan 10 |  Basketball
GB's Mensah-Bonsu rejoins Raptors
18 Nov 09 |  Basketball
Rockets release GB's Mensah-Bonsu
13 Nov 09 |  Basketball
Pops return strengthens GB hopes
02 Sep 09 |  Basketball


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