After securing a third place finish in the Final Four, Xavi Pascual thanked the fans for their support. “I want to thank our people, they travelled to Istanbul with the hope of giving us their support. In the name of the team I want to beg their pardon for our bad night on the least expected day. I believe that, despite the loss, that we had a good Euroleague run.” The manager recognised how difficult it is to with a European title, but “we believe our rightful place was to play in the final.” Having said that, he stated that against Panathinaikos the team was “more liberated and, in a match where Marcelinho led us, we managed to finish in third place, despite the sour taste in our mouths [for not having qualified for the final].”
Focus on the ACB playoffs
Pascual said that “the team have a feeling of pain for having lost such a big responsibility, we have to put it aside and focus on the playoffs.” On Thursday, at the Palau Blaugrana, Barça Regal’s ACB playoffs get underway as the team will face Lucentum Alicante in the first match of the quarter-final series. The manager expects that the Final Four defeat will serve “as a stimulant and challenge ahead of this match.”
Here are some of the statements made by Barça Regal’s players after the Final Four tournament:
“This victory allows us to leave on a better not. If we had lost we would have left with a sense of frustration, and having won we’re more optimistic, especially with the Liga playoffs ahead.
“It’s water under the bridge. We have to focus on the ACB. The Liga title is difficult and I hope that the defeat in the Final Four will make us stronger.
“I would have preferred to not have such a good record in the Euroleague this year if it meant winning these two games.”
“The match this Sunday was different. We were liberated and that allowed us to be more comfortable.”
“We’ve demonstrated what type of team we are. On Friday we played an atypical match, seeing that none of us were attacking well and on defence we didn’t have the necessary concentration.
“We had to play our style of basketball. We’ve demonstrated that we’re sufficiently good enough to win titles. We had to play our style of play, we don’t have to prove anything to anyone.”
“We managed to finish third in the Euroleague, that’s not easy.
“Now we’re going for the Liga. We’re going to play each game as if it were a title match.”
“We’re leaving with the feeling that we should have played in the final, but it was our fault for what happened against Olympiacos.
“In the end we beat Panathinaikos and we proved that we can pick ourselves up after a defeat. It’s good for us, because it lifts our morale ahead of the playoffs.
“In Barça there is no such thing as a game without pressure. Maybe finishing third means nothing to a lot of teams, but for us this means a lot.”
“We’re Barça and we cannot play a match without trying to win. We have to win all of our matches.”