Real Madrid overcomes Unicaja in Murcia to win the trophy for the tenth time in their history, the sixth in a row, as Campazzo was the MVP.
Real Madrid got the 2023/24 season off to a great start after winning the Endesa Super Cup for the tenth time, the sixth in a row and the ninth in the last 12 years. An unprecedented dominance, totalling 12 wins on the trot since 2018. The victory over Unicaja at the Palacio de los Deportes in Murcia was a hard-fought final, with more ups than downs and in which they were able to respond with a 20-6 run in the last six minutes to secure a well-deserved win. Campazzo (19 points and 23 PIR) was named MVP of the tournament for the third time and played a pivotal role in a game in which everyone chipped in, with special mention also going to Hezonja (17 points), Tavares (12 and 11 rebounds), Musa (13) and Poirier (11).
Fast-paced attacking in the opening minutes of the final. Both teams came out swinging freely. Madrid, with the addition of Ndiaye in place of Deck, and Hezonja in their starting five. The forward, with seven points, responded to the initial sharpness of Perry (3 three-pointers), and it was Musa (9) who provided the offensive punch for our team against a Unicaja team that didn't cause any problems in the paint but did from the outside and on the counter-attack. Chus Mateo's men tightened up their defence in the last two minutes of the first quarter and a spectacular dunk by Yabusele closed out a 17-21 lead, although it could have been bigger if they had hit their free throws (they missed 7 points).
Sergio Rodríguez, first; then Campazzo
In the second quarter Madrid started to open up a gap with the two point guards playing a leading role, which made the difference. Sergio Rodríguez got off to a flying start with seven minutes in which he got the team playing the way he knows how, pulling out his best repertoire to cause problems for a strong defender like Alberto Díaz. He scored (4), assisted (2) and worked hard at the back (1 steal). The individual and zone defence, led by an outstanding Ndiaye, didn't allow many chances for a Unicaja team that Carter was pushing. Holding a small lead of 5-6 for a good part of this period, Campazzo emerged with force. Taking over from Sergio Rodríguez, just as he did in the third quarter yesterday against Barça, he went straight in and scored eight consecutive points to take our team's lead to more than 10 points (31-44, min. 20).
Unicaja went into the second half prepared for anything. They were able to change the pace of the game thanks to their speed in attack and their defensive strength, with Osetkowski looking to unsettle Tavares. That unsettled Madrid and boosted the confidence of the side from Malaga, who grew thanks to Thomas' points until they went ahead 56-54 in the 29th minute. The final appeared to be going down to the wire but that changed at the end of the third quarter a 5-0 run with two free throws from Hezonja and a three pointer from Campazzo (56-61, min. 30).
The champions rallied at the key moment
There would still be suffering to come. The Andalusians were back on top at the start of the final quarter thanks to Osetkowski and Dedovic (69-68, min. 34). Another setback which, however, would not undermine Madrid's spirit. Our team answered by tightening up their defensive play and recovering the good attacking display they had shown throughout most of the tournament. Madrid were united, kept their composure and brought out their best weapon: team strength. Campazzo and Llull seized the reins and never relinquished them, with Poirier playing a key role in the final minutes. His strength under the hoop dashed the hopes of a very worthy opponent, but Madrid, when they get a whiff of a trophy, they never rest and put in their most solid and relentless performance to take the victory thanks to a 20-8 run in the last six minutes (81-88, min. 40). The first trophy of the season, the third in less than a year under Chus Mateo. A ninth Super Cup for Llull and Rudy, who played his 700th game in our jersey; and sixth for Tavares and Causeur.
UNICAJA-REAL MADRID STATISTICS
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