Real Madrid got their pre-season off to a winning start beating Unicaja Malaga at the opening game of the 11th Costa del Sol Tournament. Chus Mateo's side, which featured six first team players and six youth players, produced a very good performance against a more experienced opponent with a 17 point lead before half-time. An outstanding display from Musa in his unofficial debut in our jersey (30 points and 32 PIR). He was backed up by Sergio Rodríguez, Tavares and Causeur. Our team will take on Zalgiris Kaunas on Tuesday to round off this year's tournament and, if they win, will be champions of the tournament (8:30pm CEST).
A tough test to begin but a great reaction from our team. Having just played two friendlies, Unicaja set a high tempo right from the off, taking an 11-2 lead in the fourth minute. Madrid, however, gradually got into their stride and replied with a very high quality on attack. Most importantly, however, Madrid displayed a clear vision that is rare for just the three weeks of preparation they've had.
Video.91-98: Madrid get their pre-season off to a winning start
Sergio Rodríguez (9 points) and Tavares (16) produced hints of what their partnership could be; Musa, fresh from Eurobasket, demonstrated some of his limitless talent and scoring prowess (15). Together with Causeur (7), they scored 47 of the team's 61 points by the break. What's more, the Madrid youth system was in good shape, with Hugo González, Bosnjakovic and Diagne, who brought energy and enthusiasm to the game from the bench. The Andalusian team held their own in the first quarter (24-25), but they were unable to withstand the second, in which our team, also stronger on the rebound, led by 17 points in the 18th minute (42-59).
Whites on top
The second half was more end-to-end. Unicaja brought in Carter, Kalinoski and Kravish to create some pressure on Madrid. Chus Mateo's side comfortably controlled proceedings courtesy of Causeur's inspiration and Musa, who scored 23 points in 24 minutes. The duo playing together on the outside slowed down the opposition in a third quarter that ended +7 in our favour (75-82). The lack of control in the final quarter was heightened by fatigue, but Madrid remained cool-headed and were patient in attack with Sergio Rodríguez leading the way. Musa, who scored 30 points in 34 minutes, and 5 points from another of the new signings, Cornelie, wrapped up the first win of the pre-season in a superb attacking game (91-98, min. 40).