Marcelinho during one of Barça Regla's Euroleague matches this season/ PHOTO: ARXIU FCB

Barça’s foray into the Final Four in Istanbul is right around the corner and Marcelinho Huertas, one of the best passers of the Euroleague, explains to www.fcbarcelona.com his feelings on Barça Regal’s chances as the Euroleague enters its most decisive phase. Barça Regal’s first match will be this Friday at 20.00.

You’ll make your debut in the Final Four. How have the day leading up to your debut been?

“There’s a high level of anxiety ahead of any competition. I’m very excited. We’re coming into the match with a long winning streak and I believe the team’s level of play has gone up a lot in the past two months.”

What do you think will be the key aspects of this competition?

“I think the mental aspect is perhaps more important than the tactical or technical. We have to be prepared mentally, knowing that we could lose at any moment of the game. However, if we do things right, like we’ve practiced, we can change the dynamic of a game. At the same time, if we’re 10 points ahead, we have to be aware of the importance of every play without forgetting that anything could happen in a single minute. If we’re strong mentally and concentrated, our chances of doing a good job go up.”

I imagine that you’ve seen a couple videos on Olympiacos. What can you tell us?

“They’re tough players. They use their hands a lot. They’re a different team to most others, especially on the tactical level. Their interior players are strong, especially the two Americans. Antic, who plays anywhere, is also strong. We have to be prepared for their toughness. We know that in the Final Four a lot more contact is allowed and that fouls are almost never called.”

Do you think about the semi-final between CSKA and Panathinaikos?

“No. We have to focus on ourselves. We have to be completely concentrated on the match this Friday and not think about the other semi-final.”

Lorbek and Mickeal, focused on the Greek team

Erazem Lorbek and Pete Mickeal share Marcelinho’s views. “They are a tough team, very fast and very physical. We should only focus on our work. First, on defence. Second, dominating the rebound and then, how to open up the court,” said the American.

Lorbek, who has been nominated to the All-Star Euroleague team, says that “we’re where we wanted to be and we’re coming into the match on form.” The Slovenian warned of the danger that the Greek’s bring to Friday’s match: “Ivkovic is a legend. I’m sure that his team will be prepared for the semi-finals.”

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