Chus Mateo reacts to first season loss, squandered 21-point lead

2023-11-19 16:49

Chus Mateo acknowledged the inevitable nature of a defeat. He also recognized Malaga Unicaja's superior performance, particularly in the second half, crediting them for a well-executed game and highlighting their resilience as tough opponents.


Various teams needed 64 days to defeat Real Madrid across three different competitions: EuroLeague, ACB League, and Spanish Supercup.

Malaga Unicaja have done what seemed nearly impossible throughout the first two months of the 2023-24 season and handed Real their first defeat on Sunday by mounting a 21-point second-half comeback and winning 99-93 on the road.

Real head coach Chus Mateo expressed his disappointment with the team's home loss but, at the same time, acknowledged that a defeat was inevitable at some point.

3-pointers this season

Points made: 10,5
Accuracy: 37,3%
Place in standings: 4
Record max: 15
Record min: 2
Most made 3FGs: Sergio Llull

"They played better than us and deserved the win, especially in the second half. Credit to them for a well-executed game. They were tough opponents," Mateo underlined, via "Perhaps we lacked a bit of physical stamina in the second half or the mental toughness we've shown in other situations."

Reflecting on the team's remarkable 19-game winning streak, Mateo emphasized the need to learn from the defeat.

"At some point, a loss had to come. We've been working hard since the Supercup, and today, we didn't perform as well as the opponent. We need to continue forward, focusing on our day-to-day work and maintaining the mindset we've established."

Mateo considered the impact of playing four games in a week, suggesting it might have affected their performance.

"We were in challenging conditions after playing in Bilbao, Valencia, and against Monaco. Unicaja brought a lot of energy; they are a physical team and executed well. They were fast and had players in great form today," he said.

Despite losing after leading by 21 points in the third quarter, Mateo maintained a balanced perspective.

"It doesn't hurt more," he emphasized. "We are ambitious and faced a strong, physical team. It's part of sports. Today, they outperformed us, and we have no reason to be hurt.

"Every game is a unique story," Mateo continued. "Today, we had an advantage, and in the future, we may face challenges and come out on top. In sports, you never know how things will turn out."

Game highlights:


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