Xavi Pascual: 'Returning to OAKA is incredible, PAO fans are the best in Europe'

2021-11-24 22:57


For the first time since he was dismissed by Panathinaikos in December 2018, Xavi Pascual will enter OAKA in an official game with fans when the Greens host Zenit Saint Petersburg for EuroLeague Round 11. 

The Catalan coach coached Panathinaikos for more than two years and won two Greek League titles and one Greek Cup.

"I think that Panathinaikos are in their best shape this season, especially after the important victory over Olympiacos. I am sure that tomorrow the fans will push the team forward. I know that firsthand," Pascual said, per Zenit's official website.

Points this season

Points made: 74,4
Accuracy: 47,1%
Place in standings: 11
Record max: 90
Record min: 58
Best scorer: Jordan Loyd

"We have to show the same attitude and intensity in the game and control our emotions. We need to improve communication on the court in order to be effective on offense and defend well. In addition, we need to keep simple things under control, for example, not to make a lot of turnovers.

Panathinaikos like to run in fast-break when they play at home. We are expecting an interesting and very difficult game. I hope we will continue to play at the same, good level we are at now," the experienced tactician said.

The upcoming game has a special significance for Xavi Pascual since this will be his first time at OAKA with a few thousand fans in the stands.

"It's an incredible feeling returning to OAKA. This will be my first game with fans in Athens since I left the club. It won't be easy. I have a lot of friends in Athens.

I think that the best fans in Europe are there. I remember my time in Athens with warmth. However, now I am at Zenit, and I will focus on helping my team win," the 2010 EuroLeague champ said.

Zenit BC forward Sergey Karasev added that Panathinaikos's win over Olympiacos "gave them an extra boost. It was an important match for them. Tomorrow there will be a full house there, the support of the fans will be crazy.

They've been playing well lately. We need to give 100% and prove that we are not accidentally in fourth place," the Russian international stated.

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