07 September 2012
This is the second test of the summer for Pablo Laso’s men. After impressively overcoming the first, when they won the Costa del Sol trophy, the Whites will travel to Guadalajara, where they will try to come out on top in the Sportquarters Series basketball tournament in which four teams will compete. Real Madrid will face Blusens Monbus (8:30pm, Realmadrid TV and Marca TV), while the other semi-final will pit Asefa Estudiantes against UCAM Murcia. On Sunday, both winners will play the final at 12:00pm at the Palacio Multiusos in La Alcarria.
Laso will have his full team available, with the exception of Jaycee Carroll, who is still playing with Azerbaijan in the Eurobasket qualification round. The Whites’ coach may have Mirza Begic available again, who missed the Costa del Sol trophy because of a sprain in his right foot but who has since trained with the team and could play for the first time this pre-season against Blusens. Because of the size of his squad, which will also include Willy Hernangómez, Laso may continue to employ a method of trial and error, which is what he has used in these first few matches. If, during the matches against Cibona and Unicaja, Mirotic showed that he was the team’s best player, now any of his team mates can take up the mantle. Against Blusens Monbus, whose mainstays are Andrés Rodríguez, Levon Kendall and Oriol Junyent and the rest of the squad is practically new, the Whites will only have to continue exploiting their main qualities. The spectacular actions of Slaughter and Rudy can now be added to the pace of play that the team have shown.
After the tournament in Malaga, the players themselves recognised that they had begun the pre-season well and that the team work was going to plan, but that they still had things to do.
This tournament will provide the perfect opportunity to continue assessing how the team is developing and gelling together the new additions to the Madrid squad. Curiously, the Whites will have to face a player who was loaned to the team from Santiago, Jorge Sanz, a guard who, last season, plied his trade in the Whites’ first team and who won the Copa del Rey. If Laso’s men overcome Moncho Fernández’s team, they will meet the winner of the other semi-final between UCAM Murcia and Asefa Estudiantes in Sunday’s final.
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