Jasikevicius leaves a message in Madrid

The Lithuanian coach achieves his first great title with Barça: the Copa del Rey. And he does it, in addition, in the ideal case: at the house of the eternal rival.


Sarunas Jasikevicius, a great strategist, did not trust too much, despite the fact that Barça had embroidered it in the first half and had gone to the dressing room with a 21-point advantage: 31-52. "We are not a very good team when we play with an advantage," said the Lithuanian on the Movistar microphone, in a speech that has been heard for much of the campaign and that had been reflected the day before, when Baskonia was against him. came dangerously close in the last quarter of a game that he had dominated. "Are you already thinking about tomorrow?" Saras snapped at them. The Barça coach was suspicious, and did well, because he had Pablo Laso's Real Madrid in front of him, a specialist in wading through the most complicated situations, which this time had started with Rudy Fernández's initial loss. The hardest yet.

We do not know if Jasikevicius raised that apocalyptic scenario because he really thought that the white comeback was possible, or if he used it as an incentive to keep his team awake in the face of the predictable attacks from Madrid, but things turned out well, because this time Barcelona he did not fall into the relaxations of other occasions. Laso's men, of course, showed teeth that had been hidden until then and won the remaining two quarters, even approaching 11 points with three and a half minutes to go, but Barça did not lower the high tension. As Saras wanted. The lesson was learned.

Jasikevicius thus achieves his first major title on the Barca bench with his host of stars. And he does it, in addition, in the ideal case: at the house of the eternal rival. The host's curse continues in the Cup, especially for Madrid in Madrid. Here he has played five unsuccessful editions, the last three lost in direct finals against Barcelona (2011, 2019 and 2021), which stings much more. Barça returned to dance in the capital. This time emphatically. And he left a clear message for the rest of the season, the same one that Álex Abrines expressed at the end of the crash: "At this level we are impossible to stop."

Photos from as.com

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