Some of the most promising young national basketball players will be in Olhão on the 4th and 5th of June, to compete in the Basketball Under 18 Cup Final.
The four best teams in this year's competition, two from the mainland (North and South), one from the Azores and the other from Madeira, will fight for the title in the pavilion of the Ginásio Clube Olhanense, in an event that, only in athletes, technical teams and elements of the organization, will bring together more than one hundred people.
On the field will be the teams of Clube União Sportiva (AB São Miguel – Azores), Clube Desportivo E. Francisco Franco (AB Madeira), Galitos Futebol Clube (AB Setúbal) and Sport Clube Beira-Mar (AB Aveiro). The games, which will still be determined by lottery, are scheduled for 15:00 pm and 17:00 pm on the 4th, a Saturday, and for 9:30 am and 11:30 am on Sunday, the 5th of June.
In addition to the title at stake, this will also be an opportunity for young basketball players to show themselves, with a view to being called to represent Portugal, as the national coach will be present.
The proof was officially presented this Monday, in Olhão, at a press conference that took place aboard the Caique Bom Sucesso. The Algarve Basketball Association, the Câmara de Olhão and the Ginásio Clube Olhanense, which organize the event, were represented.
"This year, the Gym had a very competitive under-18 team, so we decided to apply to host this final stage," he told the Sul Informação Eduardo Cruz, president of the Algarve Basketball Association.
Although the team from Olhano did not manage to reach the final, the fact that the club is intimately involved in the organization of the event «rewards the excellent work they have been doing, in terms of training».
In addition to the elements directly related to the competition, a lot of public is expected, not only from the Algarve, but one that will accompany the teams. “In these cases, it is normal that there are many companions, as many family members follow the team. We are expecting a lot of people coming from Barreiro and Aveiro, not so many from the islands. When it comes to hotels, everything is sold out. We've only managed to get a place for one of the teams, in Olhão, in a pension. The other three had to go to Faro», revealed Eduardo Cruz.
Even those who are unable to make their presence felt will not necessarily lose the games. The event's organization will guarantee the live broadcast of the games, on the Youtube channel of the Portuguese Basketball Federation, also making statistics available online.
For the Chamber of Olhão, whose involvement, in the view of Eduardo Cruz, was decisive in choosing the municipality to host the final, this is yet another way to promote sport in the municipality.
«We are already known nationally because of Olhanense, Ana Cabecinha, in athletics, but also by Ginásio Clube Olhanense, in basketball, which, despite not having a senior team in the 1st division, has a strong tradition in training athletes, for decades», illustrated the mayor of Olhão António Pina.
The mayor from Olhano has a strong relationship with this sport, to which he was linked as a player and as a judge. Thus, he confesses that hosting a basketball event of this importance in his county has “a special flavour”.
“But, of course, we see all sports in the same way. We are always available to welcome important moments in the different modalities with tradition in Olhão, be it football, athletics, basketball or karate», he assured.