Barça seeks to refine its aim against Zenit
The Euroleague 2010 won with Pascual, now rival, will be previously celebrated
BARCELONA, 21 Oct. (EUROPA PRESS) –
Barça receives Zenit at the Palau Blaugrana this Friday (9:00 p.m.) on the fifth day of the Euroleague, a date to which they arrive undefeated after two wins in extra time and in a duel in which they will try to sharpen their aim and defeat a team Russian, coached by Xavi Pascual, who was a tough rival in the play-offs last season.
The Blaugranas have four victories in two games but against Olympiacos (79-78) and AS Monaco (81-85) they needed extra time to compensate for their own errors in attack and defense. An extra fatigue that, however, went well in a way to Sarunas Jasikevicius.
The Lithuanian Barça coach considers it positive to win games in which you don’t play well, especially against important rivals like Olympiacos. But he wants to see his team play well and, before Zenit’s visit, he warned his players that the easy thing is to win through good play, and not the other way around.
The truth is that this Barça is still greased and has had days of rest so that these two extensions can remain an anecdote. In addition, they receive a powerful and compensated Zenit, who has only lost one game at the start of the season, and it will be one more reason to look for one of the great nights at the Palau.
It will be a special duel for several reasons. One of them, that Xavi Pascual returns to the Palau and, taking advantage of his visit, the club will pay a tribute prior to the team that won the Euroleague in Paris in 2010. Last year, in the decade of that triumph, it could not be done for the coronavirus pandemic.
Now, despite the fact that the pandemic is still alive, the Palau once again welcomes fans and the club will pay tribute to the players and technical staff who were champions of that Euroleague. A large group of the champion players in Paris will be present at the Palau Blaugrana this Friday.
But, beyond the emotional and the tribute, the current Barça team knows that the party will not be complete if it is not won. To seek 5-0, to remain leaders and pristine, it will be necessary to stop Jordan Loyd, one of the luxury reinforcements of this year at Zenit, or Billy Baron, a point guard who has made Kevin Pangos forget.
At Barça, who beat Zenit 3-2 in the play-off series on the way to the last Final Four, they know how tough their opponents are and, therefore, they will need the best version of the Mirotic, Calathes, Davies or Higgins against a versatile Zenit that wants to sink its teeth into the culers again.
BARÇA: Calathes, Higgins, Hayes-Davis, Mirotic and Davies –possible initial quintet–; Martinez, Smits, Orihuela, Laprovittola, Kuric, Jokubaitis, Caicedo.
ZENIT SAN PETERSBURGO: Loyd, Kulagin, Ponitka, Mickey y Gudaitis –posible quinteto inicial–; Karasev, Baron, Pushkov, Kuzminskas, Zubkov, Poythress, Frankamp.
– REFEREE: Lamonica, Mogulkoc and Majkic.
– PAVILION: Palau Blaugrana.