Despite a slow start in all competitions, which is out of character for them, Real Madrid will recover from this blip.

So says coach Pablo Laso and point guard Sergio Rodriguez.

Real Madrid have been floating downwards from cloud nine since their sweep of domestic titles plus the Euroleague last season. They have begun this year with an opening day loss in the league to Valencia and it has been followed up with a disappointing 84-70 loss to Eurocup holders BC Khimki on Friday.

Still a long way from a crisis, but it seems that to emulate last season’s overall triumph will be harder considering the teams’ rapid progression in the off-season across Europe and of course, Spain.

“We are going through difficult times in the beginning of the season,” Rodriguez, who was on the victorious Spain side at this summer’s Eurobasket said.

“We knew Khimki’s playing very well as they have a great team. They will be one of the candidates for first place in the group. Obviously we were not ready for the game and we have to improve a lot to get better.

“Khimki will fight with each team they face. I think we will change and become better for sure. Their toughness was a key for them. During the game they were stronger than us as Khimki played with intensity.”

An intensity that Madrid certainly craves right now if they are to get out of this little slump that they are experiencing. They travel to Gipuzkoa in the Liga Endesa on Sunday evening and are expected to come away with the victory against a side, favourites for relegation from the top tier of Spanish basketball.

“We just have started the Euroleague and it was our first game,” said Real Madrid coach Pablo Laso. “It was a good lesson to learn from the first day.”