Oscar da Silva: 'Not many places can match the Palau'

Oscar da Silva: 'Not many places can match the Palau'

German basketball star speaks to the FC Barcelona media going into the EuroLeague quarter final against Olympiacos

Both the Liga Endesa and EuroLeague are building up to their climax and there are some huge nights on the way at the Palau Blaugrana including the start of the quarter final series against Olympiacos, where the Catalans will be hoping to head to Greece with some positive results behind them.

Oscar da Silva is into his second season at the club and knows that the biggest goal right now is a place in the Final Four in Berlin, and took time out from preparations to share his thoughts with the club's media.

It's your second season at Barça. How have the first two years gone?

It's been a really good experience for me. I've learned a lot on court and have also evolved off court into a young adult. I've been having a great time here in Barcelona, and am really looking forward to the business end of the season.

How have you adapted to the city? Does it feel like home?

Yes, this is my home. I was back in Germany in the summer and I was really looking forward to coming back here to Barcelona. I think that's a good sign. I feel great in our flat, in our neighbourhood. I love this city and its people.


 Barça is a club with little room for error and a hunger for titles. How are you coping?

As a player, you always want to win. But for me personally it's the first time I've been under so much pressure to win at a club. That makes you work harder and fight harder on court to do what's asked of you.

Roger Grimau has described you as the player 'who always gives' both in offence and defence. What does the coach ask of you?

We have a lot of stars in the team, so my goal is to get as many chances as I can in offence and block all the gaps I can at the back. I think I'm more of a glue guy, but I'm also developing in that role compared to a year ago. I think I'm a better player. That's what I want. Not to always be in the same place but to be taking steps forward.

Have we seen the best of Oscar da Silva?

Not yet. Following on from what I said, I hope to keep taking steps forward and for the future to bring me more and more every day, in every training session and every game, and for us all to develop together.

I hope the Palau gets behind us like it has done all season

Jabari Parker renewed his contract this week and plays in the same position as you. How important is that for the team?

He's a very important player. Especially in offence, sometimes he does things that make you think 'what's he doing!'. A shot on the turn, on one leg, but he scores and you are like 'wow'. Such a talented player, one of the best point-scorers in the EuroLeague. We need that from him, to get the ball into his hands and for good things to happen to the team when it is.

We're going into the decisive stage of the season in the Liga Endesa where you just beat Real Madrid and the EuroLeague with the play-offs about to start. How is the team going into the final phase?

Good. We're very focused and concentrated during training of late. The people know there is less room for error than ever. We've had some good wins recently, and we hope to keep the run going.

You've got Olympiacos in the EuroLeague quarter finals. You won comfortably home and away against them in the regular season, but it won't be the same this time, will it?

Of course not. I think teams change a bit in the play-offs. And they had injuries to deal with in those two games. They have also got a new centre who I don't think played in those two games with us. I think they'll be quite a different team to what they were last time. But we've played them twice and we know all about them. They're a team to be respected, but so are we. It would be nice to beat such a good team and make it into the Final Four.


The Palau will play a crucial part in the first two games of the series, and in a possible fifth. What is your message to the fans?

First, to continue supporting us like they have all season. They give us so much energy and it really helps when we're playing at the Palau. There are few arenas where games are lived with such intensity as they are here. I hope everyone comes to the Palau to enjoy the most important games of the season so far.

Last week you and Nnaji where at the Youth Penitentiary Centre of Catalonia for a Barça Foundation event in association with the EuroLeague. What values do you try to convey off court?

The nice thing about sport is you learn things that are useful off the court. Not just basketball but sport in general. The prisoners have a teacher for these things, like team-work, tactics, thinking, anticipating, respect... A lot of values can be learned from sport. It's a really nice project, I was at a prison last year and I wanted to go again this year. I really enjoyed it and it's a really nice thing for us to do.

As for Germany, the Olympics are coming up and you were one of if not the best players in the international week. Are you looking forward to your first Games?

Well, I hope to be there because it's not decided yet. All the players who were at the World Championship were there the other day but it'll be a somewhat different team this summer. I hope to be there. I really want to go to Paris this summer.

To win the EuroLeague and to keep advancing with the team and making Barça better

If you go to Paris, and having seen the US roster, what do you make of the challenge? Do you always want to face the best?

Of course. I think we have a game in London against the US as a warm-up for the Olympics. So we will be playing them for sure. It's going to be a dream to be up against players like LeBron James, Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant. They're players you've been watching on TV since you were a kid so it's going to be an incredible experience.

And to end, what are Oscar da Silva's end-of-season goals both personally and as a team?

To win the EuroLeague and to keep advancing with the team and making Barça better.

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