By Stefan Djordjevic/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Barcelona has assembled a star-filled team for the season and has been favored to win it all from the very start. However, far from it that the team wasn’t challenged throughout the season and that has been something Brandon Davies recognizes.
“Getting to the Final Four is no easy task, whether you’re in the bottom of the standings or at the top. It’s an achievement just to get here. On the other side, it’s a special moment, we all feel great and we don’t want it to stop here. You have to go and approach the games the same way. You’ve gotta be more focused than you’ve ever been throughout the regular season,” he said and added that he still gets lots of support from the Lithuanians, as well as from his former teammates Thomas Walkup.
One big addition for Barcelona mid-season was Pau Gasol and his presence both on and off the court will be huge for the team as they try to get over the hump.
Gasol’s effort and motivation haven’t waivered either as one of the most successful European players tries to win his first EuroLeague trophy after a lengthy NBA run where he won two straight.
“I love the game. I think I’ve shown that since I started playing it and continue to love the grind and the competitiveness of it. I find this opportunity as something very special. To be a part of this team and help as much as I can, especially in these types of moments. It’s just something I feel inside – and appreciation for this game and how much it’s given me.”
Pau once upon a time played with Sarunas Jasikevicius as a teammate in Barca, at the start of the millennia, and now they found themselves together again in a different relation.
Gasol found it interesting to see his former teammate as a coach and notice the growth and changes he developed over the years.
“It’s interesting because he was always a great player, a great leader, a great point guard. Always a lot of passion, a lot of emotion. Very cerebral. But I think now he understands that he’s a coach and he has to pay attention to a lot of other details. To focus on the strengths that perhaps weren’t his at the time as a player. How important it is to play defensively well, be physical, cover space and communicate. Things that are very very important defensively. He tries to be really disciplined with us and make us understand how important every possession is and the execution on both sides of the floor.”