Credit: ITAR-TASS - Scanpix
Credit ITAR-TASS - Scanpix

Zenit St. Petersburg held their first practice off the pre-season today. Head coach Xavi Pascual was ecstatic about having all his players join the team from the get-go.

"Last season was extremely difficult to start because of the pandemic, because of the restrictions. We couldn't have all the players to start the season. But today, from the beginning, we are all together, and it's fantastic."

The Spanish specialist was happy with the players that Zenit were able to acquire this summer: "We are very excited. We are together here for the first time. It's time to start this pre-season with maximum motivation. When we finish the summer, my players are the best players. I want to work with them, I want to create a team with good team spirit, good chemistry on and off the floor."

Pascual also gave props to the people working at the front office for Zenit: "I want to congratulate all the people that are working in the club to organize everything. I think the team last season did some steps on the court but also did a lot of steps outside of the court as an organization. All the people that are working in the office are working amazingly. Every day, they understand more of the needs that the team has."

The long-time EuroLeague coach also assessed his team's goals heading into the new season: "As always, the most important goal we have is for all the fans to feel proud of what the team is doing. Because sometimes it's not only about results, it's about feelings. So we need to understand that we are working for our fans, for our supporters, and for all the people that love basketball in general."

"We will try to work harder in every game. We will try to fight for every game, this is our goal. After that, we will see what we deserve or what we don't deserve. But the most important is that our fans will feel proud for what the players and coaches are doing," Pascual explained.

Zenit are scheduled to play in nine friendly games in preparation for the season. This includes the Neofytos Chandriotis 2021 tournament, where the Russian team will face CSKA Moscow, Olympiacos Piraeus, and Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv.

See the pre-season schedule for every EuroLeague team here.

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