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Xavi Pascual during the press conference/PHOTO: V. SALGADO /ASOBAL

Xavi Pascual, along with all the other managers that led their teams to the semi-finals of the Kings Cup, held a press conference today to talk about his team’s upcoming matchup. In the press room of Torreviega’s city hall, Pascual and his colleagues evaluated the semi-finals of the competition.

Xavi Pascual, Talan Dujshebaev, Juan Carlos Pastor and Manolo Laguna were accompanied by Torreviega’s Mayor Eduardo Dolón and the athletic director of the city and gold medalist Dani Plaza.

Last year’s playoff, not forgotten

The luck of the draw, and with FC Barcelona Intersport’s victory over Naturhouse and Cuatro Rayas BM Valladolid’s win over Octavio, would have it that last year’s semi-final matchup will repeat itself this year.

In that semi-final, the Azulgranas lost to Valladolid and Pascual hasn’t forgotten: “we remember last year, they eliminated us in the semi-finals. Every game against Valladolid is difficult for us.

“Valladolid is a team that can beat us. They have a lot of tools at their disposal to make life difficult [for us],” said Pascual.

The key getting into the final

Without being too technical in his press conference, Pascual highlighted the key to reaching the final of the King’s Cup: “We have to give everything we’ve got to beat Valladolid.

“We know that it will be a complicated match and that we need to be concentrated at all moments,” said the Barça manager.

Essential to start out strong

For the manager of Cuarto Rayas BM Valladolid, Juan Carlos Pastor, the key is to “start strong: if we have a good start we’ll have options [of winning].

“We can’t have a high-scoring match. If Barça scores 30 goals, we’ll have few options,” said Pastor.

“It’s not easy to surprise Barça Intersport two consecutive times,” said the manager when asked how he thought his team would do against the side they eliminated last year.

Noddesbo and Jernemyr sign autographs

The Barça players Jseper Noddesbo and Magnus Jernemyr, along with the Atlético Madrid players, BM Valladolid and BM Torrevieja, signed autographs at the Asobal booth in Torrevieja’s city hall.

More than 200 children got photographs, autographs and FC Barcelona Intersport merchandising this afternoon.

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