A classic charged with tension | The USA Print

A classic charged with tension

The Spanish basketball classic will mark the most important moment in European basketball this season: the Euroleague Final Four. Barcelona and Madrid They will face each other in Kaunas (Lithuania) for a place in the European final (20 hours, DAZN) in a fight marked by the pressure always inherent to the two clubs, with Olympiacos and Monaco as protagonists of the other semifinal. In addition to an exceptional conquest, lifting the champion’s trophy would be an unbeatable escape valve for two Spanish clubs always installed in criticism and in need of good news.

face the barca in Kaunas, the hometown of his coach, Sarunas Jasikevicius, his third consecutive Final Four, in an excellent situation, possibly at the best moment of the game and also his mood of the season. At his side, he will have the majority of the local fans, delivered to the Catalans by his presence, that of jokubaitis and two members of the technical staff also Lithuanian. But he does it with the need to validate, on the one hand, the project of the Barça coach, who ends his contract in June and who was left at the gates in Cologne-2021 and in Belgrade-2022. And, on the other, with the Damocles sword of the economic cuts that the sections will experience and that could have a much greater impact on basketball payrolls if the results do not arrive.

A classic charged with tension | The USA Print

Chemistry and team spirit

“For me, the most important thing in these situations is to knock at the door,” says J.asikevicius. “We have been in the tournament these last three years, we have given ourselves the opportunity as a team to qualify for the final on Sunday. The most important thing is to give yourself a chance, to be together and hopefully, for once, things will work out for us in the end.”

He barca In the end, they have achieved what seemed impossible for a good part of the season: putting all the pieces together and for the team to perform at a high level on both sides of the field. “The chemistry has been spectacular this season. That’s why we can feel confident having this group and now we have to show it on the track”, he assures Thomas Satoransky.

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A scenario also loaded with tension will experience the Madrid of Chus Mateo, questioned since the beginning of the season, practically sentenced for some in office, with the name of the coach Sergio Scariolo using itself as an alternative, in a first season lived on a roller coaster. The classification in the ‘playoff’ against the partizan He has given new life to the white coach. Collaterally, the elimination of Madrid in the Champions League against City adds extra pressure to basketball to staunch the club’s image.

“Team spirit is what has brought us here. What made us not break down before him partizan and react. We are very proud of the players. But that mentality has been in the club for a long time,” he says. Matthew.

The pulse of the blackboards

The tactical battle will be very present in the semifinal. The absences of Yabusele, Deck and Poirier will condition the game of Madrid and they will leave in a position of advantage the barca. Tavares is the differential factor in the white team, but he is very lonely and jasikevicius he’s already shown this season that he knows how to turn it off. And without Yabusele and Deck, the advantage of mirotic in the position of four is clear. That will be one of the many battles that will be fought in the Zalgirio Arena, although the main one will be mental.

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“There will be moments of pressure, nerves, but we will have to try to be calm and try to play them like any other game, keep playing good basketball,” he explained. Jasikevicius. “The experience of our veterans (Llull, Rudy, Sergio Rodríguez) has helped us get to where we are and the one that helps us win,” he says. Museappealing to the differential factor of the madridistas.

The other semifinal will face the olympiacosthe best of the regular phase, with the ‘Cinderella’ Monaco, in his first appearance in a Final Four. The Greek team, which has the best coach of the year in its ranks, Giorgios Bartzokas, and the new MVP of the competition, Sasha Vezenkov, However, he does not trust the Monegasques, who have already won both games of the season, in Piraeus (76-81) and in the Principality (64-60) and have a star in their ranks as Mike James, capable of determining a match, and which warns: “When you reach a Final Four, you can no longer talk about favourites.”

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