Xavi Pascual has high hopes for the team's future this season / PHOTO: FCB Archive

Barça’s Euroleague Top16 campaign begins on Friday away to Alba Berlin, and head coach Xavi Pascual spoke to the press before the journey to Germany. “We have to treat every game in the Euroleague like a final” he said. “And it would be a great help if we get off to a good start. That’s very important.”

To qualify for the quarter finals, Barça need to finish in the top half of an eight-team group that also includes Galatasaray, Panathinaikos, Real Madrid, Red Star Belgrade, Maccabi Tel Aviv and Žalgiris.

The team is currently in a marathon run of four games in just eight days, and the manager has opted to travel with two injured players, Oleson and Abrines. “They’re coming with us so they can be with the team and to continue their recovery processes” explained Pascual.

Alba won’t be an easy trip. “It’s a difficult court against a difficult opponent” said the coach. “We have to be in the game and create options to win it. They are very intense when they play at home. They’ve got athletic players that run well on the counter attack.”

He ended by commenting that “we have to start the year by overcoming our injuries and getting back to our level before we lost those players. If all goes well, I think we have a successful future ahead of us.”

Raising the game

Ante Tomic also spoke to the press before the flight to Berlin. “I didn’t play well at Obradoiro” admitted the Croat. “It’s a time of the season with a lot of ups and downs and we need to raise our game.”

With two games in 48 hours ahead, Tomic added that “we haven’t had good experiences when playing Friday and Sunday, but we have to accept it.”