Sarunas Jasikevicius praised his players for improving their performance in the second half against Joventut Badalona. He also reiterated his points about the toughness of the international schedule for players and claimed to have not seen much of Real Madrid in the new season.

Credit: Barca
Credit Barca

FC Barcelona defeated Joventut Badalona for the second time this week to advance to the Spanish SuperCup final yesterday.

Head coach Sarunas Jasikevicius did not like his team's attitude in the first two quarters but complimented the players' effort in the second half.

"We can't ask the boys to play well at this point and with so many new faces but we must demand not to lose in the mental or energy part," the coach told after the game. "We weren't good with it in the first half but then we improved that aspect a lot in the second half."

Saras has been an outspoken critic of the schedule players have to stick to during the year with club competitions being increasingly longer and national teams beginning their training camps shortly thereafter.

The coach reiterated his points after the game once again.

"Each preseason is different depending on the national team competitions that are played. I don't want to dramatize anything. I can't control other things. We try to work with what we have and with the time we have," he said. "Players like [Rokas] Jokubaitis have played more than 100 games in a year and nobody cares."

Jokubaitis was one of the better players on the roster in the semifinal with 11 points and 3 assists in 19 minutes of play.

"Now we have to finish the SuperCup well and add a few more things before the debut in Liga Endesa," Saras added. It depends on if [the players] catch on quickly because we will be putting more little by little. It is what it is."

Barca will face their eternal rival Real Madrid in the final today. After 11 years of consistency, the club changed its head coach this offseason, letting Pablo Laso go and hiring his long-time assistant Chus Mateo instead.

"I have seen very little of Madrid," Jasikevicius told. "Everyone says they're playing pretty much the same as last year. Clearly, we have to be concerned about their height. It is a game of maximum demand."

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