Back to Belgrade!

Nov 20, 2013 by Bostjan Nachbar - Barcelona, Spain Print
Bostjan Nachbar - FC Barcelona - EB13Hello, Euroleague fans! Once again this is Bostjan Nachbar of FC Barcelona, getting ready for our upcoming road game against Partizan NIS Belgrade. We won the last two Euroleague games, downing CSKA at home and Budivelnik in Kiev. The win in Kiev was especially important because it is a short regular season and you feel that road wins count double. Those wins are extremely important but we have another tough game coming up this week. If we want to get one of the top seeds in this group, we have to win this game. We are definitely not lacking motivation!

The fact is that we were down against Budivelnik midway through the third quarter. We talked about being as consistent as possible - that has to be the key for us. Then we had a few minutes in which we turned it on and used our experience. That's when the consistency has to come into play, to extend those good minutes for 4, 5, 6, 10 minutes. When you play on the road and the home team gets on a roll, you have to withstand the pressure and I think that is what we did in Kiev. I was surprised to see that the arena was full and their fans were loud. It was important to withstand the pressure and get the win. And we did that.

Obviously, the game against CSKA was a high-pressure one. We had lost against JSF Nanterre the previous week, so CSKA turned into a must-win game for us, a game that we simply could not afford to lose because it would have put us in a bad situation. We responded well. After the loss against Nanterre - which hurt us, definitely - we came back and played well against one of the best teams in Europe. We had a very good game and that gave us a lot of confidence, which I think was shown on the court in Kiev.

Juan Carlos Navarro is playing better and that's good news for us. We need him at his best, for sure, but we also need everybody else. We are a team that has a roster with a lot of experienced, high-level players. Nobody can take a night off: we need everybody to give 100% every night. If we do that, we definitely become a very, very dangerous opponent. That's our goal every night that we step on the court. I would say we are still a work in progress. There are still a lot of things that we work on just because this is a new group of players, but we are improving and that's a good sign. Personally, I feel good - for me, it was a matter of getting into the team, of fitting in and finding my role to feel comfortable - and that's what I felt in the last few games. Motivation is the key and that has never been a problem with me. Motivation is as high as it has ever been and that's why I am really confident.

Playing at Pionir Arena is always special for any basketball player, and this week will be the same. I grew up in that area, the former Yugoslavia, and for us it's like the Madison Sqaure Garden of Europe! It is a pleasure to play there, the fans are great and I have very nice memories of them simply because after the game, they always congratulated me for good performances. That's a sign of how good and basketball-educated Partizan fans are. We have mutual respect and that is something that I really cherish. I am happy to go back - playing and winning the game is the most important thing but also to see some of my friends, as this is probably the only chance we have to do that in the whole year.

Like I said, ours is an experienced team, so nobody should be surprised by Pionir Arena's atmosphere. Most of us played there before, so we know what to expect. It shouldn't be a surprise even when it is always a special feeling, a special experience. We know that it is going to be a full gym, a loud gym - but nobody likes to play in empty arenas. I personally hate it! I played well in previous games there and I don't expect anything different this time.

Life is Barcelona is still great, of course. We had beautiful weather up until a couple of days ago, when we had thunderstorms. I get the chance to go around the city a little bit and it is amazing. It is very relaxing and you have a lot of opportunities to do a lot of things, whether you are young or old, if you have a family or not, the city offers everything. From that standpoint, we are very fortunate and lucky to be here. We are definitely going to try to make the most of living in this city! When I talk to my friends back home, I tell them it is a special thing to be here - living in one of the best sports cities in the world and being one of the players here, being appreciated by those fans and the respect they give you. It means so much! I have worked hard to get to this place and to be finally here means so much more!

Wish us luck in Belgrade! Until next time, have fun!

You can follow Bostjan Nachbar on Twitter at - @BokiNachbar