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Xavi Pascual / PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB

Minutes after Sunday’s match, Xavi Pascual started thinking about Wednesday’s clash in Valencia: “we have to recuperate and be mentally tough. We know that there will be a fantastic atmosphere at La Fonteta and we’ll have to play at our best if we want to win.” The Azulgrana manager congratulated Valencia Basket for the win and he admitted that his team “was not at the expected level against a good team like this one [Valencia]. It’s not that we played poorly but we were not sufficiently intelligent to get the necessary advantages throughout the match, we also were not sufficiently calm in how we played the game.”

Pascual went over the key aspects of the match: “we lost because of our defence. We didn’t play well. They got too many advantages. They scored 28 points from the interior and they penalized us by dominating the offensive rebound in decisive parts of the match. They were able to get into the game thanks to our lack of accuracy on offence. Moreover, our conversion rate from the free throw line was not good.”

An aggressive Valencia

The Barça Regal manager also highlighted the intensity and aggressiveness of Perasovic’s men: “physically they played to the limit. They defended by making physical contact. They were penalized with 31 fouls but there could have been many more because in every play there was always something that could have been called.” This opinion was shared also by Xavi Rabaseda: “they were more aggressive than we were and they scored 25 points in the second and fourth quarters. We aren’t accustomed to this style of play. Not defending for 40 minutes killed us.”

However, Pascual said that “we managed to take a four-point lead and in the end, we were only three points away from coming level.” The ball didn’t go in and it’s time to think about the match in Valencia. “We have to go to Valencia with the objective of winning both the matches,” said Rabaseda.

“I hope that Navarro is able to help us”

Xavi Pascual also talked about one of his players during the post-match press conference. The manager said that Juan Carlos Navarro “is recuperating favourably but he still hasn’t recovered fully. We hope that he can help us on Wednesday. I used his a bit more than on Friday because there were players that weren’t necessarily playing well in his position. But he wasn’t as on target as he usually is,” said the manager.


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