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Pascual during today's training session. PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ-FCB.

The Barça Regal-Unics Kazan tie, the Euroleague quarter-finals, starts this Tuesday at the Palau Blaugrana (19:00). The Barça manager Xavi Pascual highlighted the importance of the series ahead of tomorrow’s clash: “we believe in ourselves, but we have to be aware of the difficulties of this tie. Sometimes we put in more effort because of a name [of a team] and not because of the trajectory of a side.”

According to the manager, “it’s a very exciting playoff. It’ll start at an atypical time, and we still need our fans. Our supporters are key. We’ve lived great Euroleague quarter-final playoffs at the Palau and tomorrow is this season’s first.”

A well-known rival

During today’s pre-match press conference, Pascual talked about the two matches against the Tatar side that took place earlier this season: “the fact that we played and won both times against them only makes things more difficult. With a team that have their quality, the most normal thing is that we trade victories.” He considers that the Unics players have “a lot of experience and a lot of individual talent. They have a complete team.” The manager also said that Nathan Jawai is “one of the most dominant small forwards of the competition.”

“The team in on form”

Talking about his players, the Barça manager said: “the team comes into the game on form, even though we were also on excellent form going into the final of the King’s Cup and we didn’t win it. The competition will put us in our place.” He said that his players “have a special eagerness” that comes before a big match. He also admitted that he’s studies Barça’s rival in depth: “we know them well.”

Navarro remembers last year's elimination

Juan Carlos Navarro talked after Xavi Pascual and he said that he remembers the team’s elimination in the quarter-finals to Panathinaikos in last year’s tournament. “We still have that thorn in our sides. The first match isn’t decisive, it’s important, but we have to win,” he said. The captain echoed his manager’s statements, “Unics is a well known and dangerous” rival. Navarro also talked about his recovery: “I feel much better, it’s been 10 days since I’ve thought about my foot, and that’s good.”


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