By Eurohoops team / firstname.lastname@example.org
FC Barcelona head coach Sarunas Jasikevicius spoke during a media availability at the Palau Blaugrana, soon before his team’s departure for the Belgrade Final Four (May 19-21).
The Lithuanian coach talked about Barcelona’s preparations and Real’s hunger against his team, as well as about the status of Cory Higgins for the semifinal.
“The team is going to be prepared. Thinking about the rival, about ourselves. We have to be very focused. The key will be not to give anything away. In games against them, if there has been a high score it was because we have given things away”, he said, as adapted by Marca.
Jasikevicius confirmed that the team will have all of its players available, including Higgins. “Today everyone has trained except Sergi (Martínez), who has a cold. Cory (Higgins) is going to play because his experience is very important. It is clear that he cannot reach one hundred per cent. But we will have all of the players available”.
For Jasikevicius’ Barcelona’s streak against Real at this point of the season is adding more challenges. “We’ve beaten them in the last few games and this is against us because Madrid will be very hungry against us”, he said. “They arrive at the best moment of the season and they are playing very well, they are moving the ball very well. They have veteran players with experience and they know what they have to do. It is a Final Four and it has to be difficult”.
The Barcelona playcaller also spoke about Nikola Mirotic’s influence on the team and his expectations to see the rest of his squad step up accordingly in Belgrade. “We need everyone and we have shown that we do not depend on a player like Nikola, even if he is the best in Europe. We hope that he will be fine, but if he is not, he is human after all, others have to step up .”
Barcelona faces Real Madrid in the second semifinal (May 19, 21:00 CET), with hopes to return to the championship game for the second consecutive year.