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Knocked out of the Copa del Rey

MATCH REPORT. 18/02/2023. Edu Bueno (Badalona). Photographer: Víctor Carretero

Real Madrid can't overcome Unicaja in the semi-finals and lose out on chance at title. 

Real Madrid lost in the semi-finals of the Copa del Rey against Unicaja Malaga and are out of the race for the title in Badalona. The game started with a lot of pace and Unicaja posed problems for Madrid with five open players and a lot of success in three-pointers (3), which allowed them to take the initiative at the start. But the Whites did not alter their game plan and continued to be aggressive at the back, with Tavares impassable in the zone (3 blocks), and patient in attack, where they loaded their opponents with fouls and found points near the hoop (Musa, 6; Williams-Goss, 4). With 11-15 at the 6' mark, Chus Mateo's men went on an 8-2 run to take the first quarter 19-17.

Rotations on each side kept the level of intensity very high. Madrid had to adapt to this situation and to a Unicaja that was solid in rebounding on both sides of the court. They did so by working every play and always looking for the best options near the hoop with Deck's superiority in the low post (8 points) and the blocks and continuation between Sergio Rodríguez and Poirier, which led to the play of the game with a steal by the point guard and an assist from behind for a dunk and an extra shot by the Frenchman. A four point advantage for Madrid after that action was the biggest lead for either team in the second quarter, the final stretch of which saw a continuous exchange of baskets with Deck and Kravish as key figures (39-39, min. 20).

Video.82-93: Knocked out of the Copa del Rey

There was no respite in the contest and at the restart Unicaja made a small breakthrough thanks to a better balance in inside-outside scoring. Thomas and Osetkowski gave Unicaja a nine-point lead against a Madrid side hampered by three-point shooting errors and free throw misses. Madrid did not have the offensive rebounding resource today either, but even so, they continued to fight and did not let Malaga's advantage go any further in the third quarter (59-66, min. 30).

Not our Day
It was a difficult situation, mainly because we were not getting things going either in attack or defence. Unicaja was fresher and gradually opened up the gap on the scoreboard. To make matters worse, Musa and Tavares had to retire after receiving two blows to the face that required medical assistance. Ibon Navarro's side were 14 up with five minutes to go. A deficit that Madrid tried to reduce with more heart than skill, the latter factor ultimately deciding the game (82-93, min. 40).