The Turkish center and the Lithuanian guard talked to BasketNews ahead of the EuroLeague 2022-23 season.

Credit: FC Barcelona
Credit FC Barcelona

FC Barcelona have a clear goal for this new EuroLeague season. Win it. That's all.

Sertac Sanli

Sertac  Sanli
Team: FC Barcelona
Position: C
Age: 31
Height: 212 cm
Weight: 115 kg
Birth place: Istanbul, Turkey

The Blaugranas returned to the Final Four in 2021 seven years after their last appearance. They could not achieve the glory at Cologne, falling short in the final.

Last year it happened the same in Belgrade, just instead of losing in the final, Barcelona lost in the semifinal. Although they had an amazing run in the Regular Season, Barca failed again. The loss in the semifinals against Real Madrid was painful.

But this has been forgotten.

In the third season with Sarunas Jasikevicius as the boss on the bench, Barcelona are ready to rise from the ashes.

"We want to win the EuroLeague. It's in our hands. We want to show it on the court every single game, not just saying it", ensured Sertac Sanli to BasketNews in the locker room after the ACB League game against Cazoo Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz.

When asked about the new additions in different teams, the Turkish center preferred to be focused on his own team.

"I don't want talk about other teams. I'm just focused on us, really. We need to grow as a team to accomplish our goals. If we do this, we will succeed," said Sanli. 

Sanli could not hide his excitement regarding his second season with Barca.

"I hope we can win even more games and more titles. This year I feel more relaxed. I know everybody here, the culture, the city. I try to help the newcomers. I feel more confident. This is the biggest difference from my side," said the Turkish center.

One of the newcomers is Jan Vesely, his new friend in the paint.

"We both try to do the best for the team. I knew him well since we faced each other a lot in Istanbul. He is a great player defensively. He will bring experience", explained Sanli.

Another player who is in his second year with Barcelona is Rokas Jokubaitis. The Lithuanian youngster can't wait to begin the next EuroLeague season.

"We are hungry", he told BasketNews in the locker room. "We know how capable we are and we add great guys who will help us a lot, sure", he added.

Jokubaitis admitted defense will be once again the key for the team.

"We have seen it many times. We can't allow to score more than 50 points in one half. When we defend great our offense is even better. Saras always tell us the same," said Jokubaitis.

After playing the EuroBasket, the 21-year-old guard confessed he suffers from fatigue.

"I'm feeling good, a little bit tired to be honest. It's not easy. You come here with great shape but fatigue affects your body. There are pluses and minuses. It's normal. We have a great medical staff and physician who knows our bodies”, he concluded.

Jokubaitis will face Kostas Sloukas on Friday night. Two great lefties on the court. Welcome back, EuroLeague!

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