Euroleague press conference / FOTO: ÀLEX CAPARRÓS - FCB

Xavi Pascual knows FC Barcelona Regal are going to have to produce their best basketball to win their Euroleague semi final against an experienced and skilful Olympiakos side. He was speaking at a press conference ahead of the game at the Cigaran Palace in Istanbul on Thursday, where he was joined by Lorbek and the other three participant clubs, each represented by their head coach and one of their players.
After admitting that it won’t be easy, the FCB coach said that “we have our chance to win … We are anxious for the Final Four matches to get under way in Europe’s biggest competition, especially our own”. He added that his team “has a lot of respect” for their opponent. “We are prepared for a game in which we are convinced that the small details will decide things”.

The Barça Regal coach also spoke about the relationship between his basketball squad and the club’s obvious flagship section, the football team. “It is an honour that an institution like FC Barcelona can be so competitive in so many other sports, especially basketball, which is at the very top level of the game. We should all understand how many people each sport moves. Football is different to basketball, are we’re fully aware of that.”

Lorbek proud of the job so far

Erazem Lorbek spoke about how just being in the Final Four is already something to feel proud of. “Last year we didn’t get here and so we’re all very happy to enjoy this new chance. Personally, I feel very comfortable and proud to be here, it’s a great experience.” He also had words for the Turkish supporters. “We played against Galatasaray this season and the fans were great. It was a hard game and the fans made it harder still. I think the Turkish fans are fantastic.”


Ivkovic and Spanoulis highlight Barça Regal experience

Both the head coaches of Olympiakos, Dusan Ivkovic, and his player Vassilis Spanoulis, are aware that their team will need to play a brilliant game if they want to beat Barça Regal. The former promised that he and his players “will do everything and more” to beat “a great opponent with lots of experience.” Ivkovic expects all these different ingredients to make for “a very good semi final” and feels that the most important thing is “for my players not feel under any kind of pressure”.

Vassilis Spanoulis spoke along similar lines, reckoning that Olympiakos “will play as well as we know in order to get into the final … A lot of people don’t believe in us or in our hopes of winning. We will try to show them what we are capable of doing on the court.”

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