Pascual: “It is almost impossible to beat Barça three times”

The Zenit coach, Xavi
Paschal, has his feet on the ground despite having struck the bell when he won the first match of the quarterfinals against the almighty Barcelona and take the second to extra time. “It is still almost impossible to win three games against this Barcelona,” the coach of the Russian team that faces the Blaugrana team in the quarterfinals of the Euroleague of basketball.

“On Wednesday we will see the best Barcelona. I think they will play looser after seeing almost two down. They have gained confidence and security. Not being on the ropes will surely have given them a boost ”, he commented before the third game of the series (1-1), which will be played on Wednesday in St. Petersburg.

Paschal, who has not yet fully recovered from severe back pain that has plagued him for weeks, underlines that the players of the Blaugrana team “are bigger and stronger in almost all positions.”

“It’s very complicated. The defensive rebound is very difficult to control since they are very high ”, he confesses.


Even if Pau
Gasoline He has not yet had many minutes in the series, the coach warns that he played “very well” at the weekend against Andorra.

“It is a toothache more like others on the Barça squad. He is a player of incredible magnitude. He has a lot of talent, ”he says.

As in the first duel in the Palau, believes that his team “will have to play their best game if they want to win.”

“We will follow the same line, preparing the matches well, trying to control the pace of the game and reach the end with chances of winning,” he said.

He believes that defense has been the key to the phenomenal performance of his players. “We were very solid in defense. We made very few mistakes. They have had to pull talent to win us, ”says Pascual.

“They have not been able to run,” he stressed.


He admits that the Zenith arrives very punished by the casualties, but physically strong to Wednesday’s game in the Sibur Arena in Saint Petersburg.

“If we remove the fact that we are missing two players in our starting five, that is, we have two less players and we arrive more tired, the truth is that we have arrived very well prepared physically,” he said.

The Polish Mateusz
Ponitka, a key player for Pascual, did not even travel to the Catalan capital, while the Lithuanian Arturas
Gudaitis He also did not play the second match, after spraining his ankle during the first.

Gudaitis, a player who usually also plays at the start, is a serious doubt for the rest of the tie.

“We are here to fight with the strength we have,” he said.


Paschal he was not happy with the refereeing in the second game, since he believes that Kevin
Pangos was fouled in the final seconds, but is faithful to the principle that “what happens on the field stays on the field.”

Kevin he complained, when he is a boy who never complains about anything. I thought it was a lack, even though it was far away ”, he admits.

In a sign of the confidence he has in the Catalan coach, the Zenith announced the renewal of Paschal for three seasons on the eve of the first game of the series.

“Pascual is a blessing for the club. They were totally right, “he told Efe Sergei Tarakanov, Olympic, world and European champion with the Soviet Union.

Paschal, which ended up at the club St. Petersburg in February 2020, it has converted the Zenith in the revelation team of this season by putting it among the top eight of the maximum continental competition.

In addition, the Zenith finished leading the regular league VTB ahead of UNICS, the Lokomotiv and the CSKA Moscow.

Paschal, 48, won four Spanish leagues and the Euroleague with Barcelona (2008-2016), and two Greek championships with Panathinaikos (2016-18).

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