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The Real Madrid players lift the famous trophy for the 29th time. Migue Fernández
Real Madrid crowned Copa del Rey champions in Malaga
Basketball

Real Madrid crowned Copa del Rey champions in Malaga

Basketball ·

Los Blancos beat fierce rivals Barcelona 96-85 as the tournament held at the Martín Carpena arena drew to a close on Sunday evening

Monday, 19 February 2024, 11:46

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Real Madrid have been crowned basketball Copa del Rey champions after a 96-85 win against Barcelona at the Martín Carpena arena in Malaga on Sunday night.

In the showpiece showdown everyone was expecting after seeing how the draw played out, the two giants put on a spectacle worthy both of the occasion and the talent on show on the court.

Both sides were closely matched and by the end of the first quarter were tied at 19-19. In fact, the Catalans then had a narrow two-point lead at the half-way point (43-45).

Migue Fernández

However, the direction of travel started to shift in the second half with Los Blancos finding greater rhythm and an intensity that their tiring opponents couldn't match.

Real went into the final quarter three points ahead - a lead that would ultimately extend to 11 thanks in no small part to crucial three-pointers from Guerschon Yabusele and Gabriel Deck.

This helped to seal Real Madrid's 29th win in this tournament - the same outcome as on the last two occasions Malaga hosted the Copa del Rey (in 2014 and 2020). No team has won the trophy more.

Early exit for Unicaja

This 'Clásico' was set up after Real Madrid saw off Valencia 95-76 and Barcelona beat Tenerife 108-76 in Saturday's semi-finals.

Both sides made light work of these ties, in stark contrast to their quarter-final ties against UCAM Murcia (84-79) and Manresa (102-91), respectively.

Sadly for local side Unicaja, though, they didn't even make it to the final four. The defending champions, in a re-run of the 2023 final, fell to a disappointing 91-83 defeat to Tenerife on Friday night - a result which saw a lot of the local interest in the tournament fizzle out ahead of the weekend.

MARILÚ BÁEZ

Malaga won't push to host Champions League Final Four this year

Despite initial interest, Unicaja have decided against pursuing hosting the Basketball Champions League Final Four this year, leaving the door open to Murcia, Frankfurt (Germany) and Athens (Greece).

Malaga's Martín Carpena arena hosted the prestigious event last year, but Unicaja, as hosts, struggled both in terms of organising the tournament as well as on the court, leading to a fourth-place finish without any financial reward.

Following the disappointing and unexpected early exit of the home side in this year's Copa del Rey, too, the city is now out of the running, after the club urged the local authorities to refrain from bidding.

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