Jasikevicius: Lithuanian intensity for the change of cycle culé

The coach wins his first trophy on the Barça bench in his second chance. It has given the team a new mindset.


The Sarunas Jasikevicius era is already bearing fruit in Barcelona. The Lithuanian won his first trophy as a Barça coach on Sunday: the Copa del Rey after beating Real Madrid with a beautiful first half. And he conquered it five months after that Tenerife Super Cup, which opened the season and which was taken away by the eternal rival. In that month of September in the Canaries, the engine was still taking heat and fundamental men like Kyle Kuric and Cory Higgins were missing. “From Tenerife, the players understand more what I want, they are more shot. We have had bad times in this time and we are together. But we are still in a process: we have to improve, improve, improve, "said Saras after the final.

Now, with both and the engine at full capacity, the Catalan machine is another. Very intense in defense. Pure granite with multiple assets capable of covering different positions, making constant changes and two against suffocating ones. In attack, Goma-2 Echo: Mirotic and Davies on the inside are almost unstoppable; Smits complies inside and outside the perimeter and Pustovyi mistreats the heights. Outside, Kuric and Abrines. Snipers in a state of grace. Side note, Higgins: the American has a devilish ability with the ball in his hands, in the shot, in the penetration. And all under the mathematical mind of Calathes.

But above everyone is Jasikevicius, who came to Barça from Zalgiris at the third chance after the attempts in 2017 and 2018. The Lithuanian has imbued his boys with a winning mentality that seemed forgotten, reduced to nothing by the incessant and constant blows received by Madrid in the last decade. "The most important? The mentality. Always. Before the tactic. It will always be this ”, he assured after the victory in the semifinals against TD Systems Baskonia, where the team took off the scare from the body that Unicaja caused them in a few rooms that were decided in extra time and with some controversy. “We are getting nobody to think that they are above the rest. We have to win all together, we need to believe in each other ”, assured the Lithuanian about his philosophy.

Mentality, but also passion and intensity, two qualities that are a reflection of a character that does not hide in the band. There is no second in a game that one of its players does not address in a direct, aggressive way, due to a failure in attack or defense, due to a mistake, due to a mistake in the position. Everything is organized to the millimeter and everything has to go perfectly. Pustovyi knows it well, for example, that he lasted the first 50 seconds of the game due to a failure in defense. U Oriola: in the third quarter he debated for 15 seconds about a play. He spoke, Saras listened. Because its command is not unidirectional. And the players are with him.

Photos from as.com
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