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Barça Regal's five Final Four debutants / PHOTO: ÀLEX CAPARRÓS - FCB

Along with experienced players like Juan Carlos Navarro, who will play in the sixth Final Four of his career, or Víctor Sada and Erazem Lorbek, both of whom will make a Final Four appearance for the fourth time, there will be five debutants. Marcelinho Huertas, Xavi Rabaseda, Kosta Perovic, Joe Inles and CJ Wallace will all experience a Final Four for the first time. It’s a unique experience that they’re all looking forward to. “I’m totally motivated to play in the Final Four. I’ve been eagerly awaiting this moment,” said Rabaseda, one of the young players that came up through the Barça youth system. It’s a shared idea by all of them, among them, Perovic: “I feel proud of what we’ve accomplished so far and I’m very eager to play in my first Final Four.”

The good feelings need to materialise in Istanbul

Rabadesa talked about his team’s 10 consecutive victories in the tournament so far and that “we have to materialise these feelings this weekend in Turkey.” He added: “We have to try and do the things we’ve been practicing. I believe, that little by little, we’ve been fulfilling our objectives and we have to keep on working the same way we have up until now. We have to defend well, try to work as hard as we can and, on offence, read their defence well and find good options.”

Perovic is anticipating a very difficult semi-final against an atypical opponent: “I imagine that it will be a different to what we’ve experienced up until now. They do some unusual things, like changing out all five court players at once or playing with shorter but very strong pivots. I’m expecting a tough match,”

The five debutants are looking forward to, and only focusing on, this Friday’s match against Olympiacos with excitement and ambition.


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