BASKETBALL PREVIEW: FC Barcelona v Žalgiris Kaunas
Barça face a must-win home game against a Žalgiris team they have beaten 16 times in 17 Euroleague clashes Head coach Xavi Pascual calls on the fans to fill the Palau and energize the blaugranes
FCBarcelona are back at the PalauBlaugrana for a Friday-night fight against Žalgiris Kaunas in a Top 16 Euroleague game that is a must-win for both sides.
The Lithuanians are currently 1–3 while averaging 70 points scored per game. Their top scorer is American small forward JamesAnderson, who is averaging 15.9 points. Žalgiris only have one win at the Palau in their history to go along with seven losses. Their other key players are team captain and power forward PauliusJankūnas (9.4 points and 7.1 rebounds) and big man RobertasJavtokas, (6.4 points, 4.5 rebounds, 1 block).
Despite being without Juan Carlos Navarro and Brad Oleson, still revcoering from injuries, and with Eriksson out for the long-haul, Barça are in pretty good shape physically. Xavi Pascual used his press conference to stress the importance of winning at home: "We've got to be tough and shut down their attack. We need to get open looks and be sound in the passing game."
Homage to Jasikevičius
Ex-Barça player and current ŽalgirisKaunas assistant coach Šarūnas Jasikevičius will be honoured before the game in a brief ceremony. The first 1,000 people to enter the Palau Blaugrana before the game will receive a free Jasikevičius poster.