Jasikevicius reveals minimum regular-season goal, praises Jokubaitis

2023-03-18 06:18

Sarunas Jasikeviicus says a home-court advantage is a minimum goal for Barca.

Credit: Euroleague Basketball/R.Molina via GettyImages
Credit Euroleague Basketball/R.Molina via GettyImages

FC Barcelona got closer to clinching a EuroLeague playoff spot on Friday night after taking down Crvena Zvezda Meridianbet Belgrade 85-79 at Palau Blaugrana.

The Catalans improved to a 19-10 record in the standings following their fifth consecutive win at home.

"I think that, if anything, my guys really fought. I thought Zvezda was desperate and this was the difference: fighting vs. desperation. It was a final for them, it was one of their last chances [to make the playoffs]. We have to understand that we are entering the last phase of the regular season and teams are going to go crazy just to win the game," Sarunas Jasikevicius said post-game.

Player of the Game
Nikola  Mirotic
Nikola Mirotic
Points 21
Accuracy 6-11
Rebounds 5
Assists 1

Saras then revealed a minimum plan for the EuroLeague regular season, with five more games to play.

"The home-court advantage is the minimum goal and I hope that we can get it," he said. "Teams will come here to play as if a final. Zvezda was playing for its life tonight."

Barca shares third-fourth places with AS Monaco in the EuroLeague table. These teams have two wins more than Fenerbahce (17-11), but the latter squad has one game in spare.

On Friday, the 22-year-old Rokas Jokubaitis delivered when it mattered the most.

During the last two minutes, the Lithuanian floor general converted a 2+1 play, hit a critical two-point jumper, and dished out an assist to Nikola Kalinic, who struck from downtown to seal the outcome.

"He [Rokas Jokubaitis] took these last two decisions and did really well. We found a situation in which he could do some damage. They were letting him shoot and, in the first half, maybe he didn't take good decisions when we were being allowed to shoot.

'Should I shoot or not, should I drive or not?', but in the end, I believe he was solid all game long and these two possessions allowed us to get out of here with a victory," Saras said of the young guard.

Jokubaitis finished the game with 8 points, 8 assists, and 12 PIR in 23 minutes.

"It is easier to play at home, there are 7,000 people with you, the noise is in your favor, and everyone cheers for you. We have experienced players and many of them are over 30 years of age, plus a point guard like Rokas who has been at this level for some years now. I think we have to take a small step forwards and play with more continuity," Jasikevicius concluded.


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