Do-or-die For Pavlicevic, Zagreb

28 January 2008

Optimism is the code word for KK Zagreb coach Zeljko Pavlicevic ahead of this week's vital Group C game against Olympia in the EuroCup.

Win, and Zagreb advance to the quarter-final round. Lose, and they kiss a chance of winning European silverware good-bye in 2008.

Jakov Vladovic (KK Zagreb)
Jakov Vladovic has been KK Zagreb's leading scorer in EuroCup play.
"Tomorrow is a really very important game for us," Pavlicevic said on Monday to FIBA Europe.

"We have the same points as Olympia and Proteas.

"For both teams, tomorrow it will be a crucial game, but we have home court advantage and I think we have the edge. I will have all my players available for the game."

Had Pavlicevic's team been able to put away Olympia last week, there would not be as much riding on Tuesday.

The Greek team won at home, though, 64-63.

Instead of fretting over the defeat, Pavlicevic looks at the positives.

"It was a very interesting game, very close and exciting," said Pavlicevic, who coached Japan at the 2006 FIBA World Championship.

"We lost the game by a free throw but I was very satisfied with how my team played."

Most important for Pavlicevic is that he say his players improve on a day-to-day, game-by-game basis.

"We are playing better and better each game and that is a good sign," he said. "We had problems at the beginning, losing by 23 points at Proteas, but we bounced back with a home triumph against Proteas and then a very important victory at Spartak St. Petersburg.

"How far we can go in this competition depends on how we do tomorrow. We are just concentrating on this game.

"Olympia are a very serious team and they have a good roster."

The EuroCup, as it has been every year, has provided a lot of thrills for the teams and the fans.

Pavlicevic says he's just happy that Zagreb are involved.

"The EuroCup competition is of a very good level, it's really well organized and it's very important for basketball, we are just very happy to be a part of this competition," he said.

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