One day before traveling to Belgrade, Sarunas Jasikevicius reviewed the current state of the team at a massive press conference. He only wanted to talk about Madrid, his first rival, and warned that the most experienced must be key to winning the Euroleague.
team feelings: “The team will be ready, with a lot of enthusiasm. Today we have trained well. Already finishing things, thinking about the rival, also about ourselves. You have to be focused, have a clear idea. We know the rival very well, it will be very difficult to surprise them. You don’t have to give them anything, this is the key. When we play against Madrid if the score is high it is because we have given them easy points. It’s one of the keys.”
Physical state: “Everyone has trained except Sergi, who has a cold. At this point everyone is a little touched but we have all trained and we have everyone “
How the Final Fours lived as a player: “In my first I was super nervous, with a lot of desire, I threw myself without sleeping for a week. I guess you have to go through this, it’s very complicated. You can talk, discuss, prepare them… But you have to go through this experience yourself. I now sleep much better, I control everything better. For some it will be difficult but we have an experienced team. It is the hour of those who have more experience.
Match to few or many points: “Each match is a new story. The last ones we’ve beaten against them, Madrid have always tried to surprise us. They really want us, very hungry. You have to match them in that hunger they have. Madrid arrives at the best moment of the season, playing very well as a team. It’s a Final Four, I’m sure it will be very difficult.
Barca moment: “We are fine, at the best moment I don’t know, it is difficult to know. But I think we arrived well, we have some problems but there are three days left and we have people with experience. They’re going to be able to train, recover, pick up the pace… Too bad Kuric hasn’t been able to play the last few games. I think we will be fine, we arrived more or less well.
Mirotic: “We need everyone. We have shown that we do not depend on a player, nor that he is the best in Europe like Niko. Everything happens very quickly in these games, we will have to find the ones who work. We hope that Niko is at his level, it is clear that he is very important to us. If he’s not okay, he’s human, they’ll have others to step up.”
Higgins: “Cory is going to play, his experience is very important to us. He has played many Final Fours. He does not reach 100% but he can be important”.
More pressure: Madrid is also 80 minutes from the title. They all think they can win. They all have the same pressure as us.”
Experience from the previous season: “This is a new year, new players, new rival. It helps that we went through a Final Four together, that we came close. It’s always better to have this experience but we have to focus on the goal”.
physical match: “Yes, we expect it. Madrid will be a bit different from what they normally do defensively. The last few games have worked very well against us. It’s what we expect.”
Coincidence with the women’s Champions: “It’s a shame for the ‘presi’, who has to be in two places at the same time”