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Jasikevicius in the Media Day PHOTO: GERMÁN PARGA - FCB

The Copa del Rey gets under way this Thursday in Vitoria, being the 77th edition of the tournament that features the eight best placed teams after the half of the regular season. Jasikevicius holds the record for the most cup titles in different countries. He has won the Spanish version twice with Barça (in 2001 and 2003), and also three times in Greece (2008, 2009 and 2012), twice in Israel (2004 and 2005), once in Slovenia (2000) and once in Turkey (2011).

This will be his fourth appearance at the Copa del Rey, an event he describes as “special. Because of the atmosphere, the organisation, and because this is a weekend when people live basketball to the full. There are always surprises and plenty of nice but difficult matches, and lots of excitement in a very special competition.”

He knows all about knockout cups, and the unpredictability that goes with them. “It really doesn’t matter what kind of condition you are in going into a cup. There are no favourites because there are always going to be shocks. In none of the quarter finals are you going to see much of a difference, and much as people can talk, nobody can be considered the favourite.”

Welcome to Oleson

Sarunas Jasikevicius also spoke about the arrival of Brad Oleson, who has only played one game for his new club so far. “He’s a very experienced player and will be a huge help to us. He’s top quality, experienced and good in both defence and attack. It’s hard to find players like him”.

The team is 6-0 in recent matches, and Jasikevicius doesn’t think that’s just a question of luck. “Nothing has changed, it’s just that we’ve found the right dynamic, which should be normal for a team like Barça. A club like this should be getting positive streaks like that” said the man with four Euroleague titles to his name, one with Barça (2003), two with Maccabi (2004 and 2005) and one with Panathinaikos (2009)-.

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