Future of Portuguese basketball celebrates in Albufeira

The Festival has almost 10 years of existence.

The excitement began when the teams arrived this Saturday, April 9, at Ferreiras train station. If for many this was the first time they visited the Algarve, for others it was a long-awaited return. The Basketball Festival returned to Albufeira and brought with it young athletes who share a passion for this sport. 

Still barely redone from the trip, the 72 teams headed to the city of Albufeira for the opening ceremony. Hundreds of people were waiting for him in Fisherman's Square.

In addition to family members, the opening ceremony was attended by important participants: José Carlos Lima, National Coordinator of Ethics in Sport, Manuel Fernandes, president of the Portuguese Basketball Federation, and Cristiano Cabrita, vice-president of the Albufeira Chamber.

This year, the ceremony was enhanced not only by the Iberian lynx Blitz, but also by his new girlfriend: Tiry.



Without anyone waiting, the mascots arrived in a vehicle belonging to the Lifeguard Association of Albufeira. The thousands of young people soon cheered up.

Manuel Fernandes couldn't hide his satisfaction at the return of the Festa do Basquetebol either.

«I feel happy to belong to the organization of this party, because this is the biggest event of its kind in Portugal and that is very gratifying. It is an example of reference for all sports", he told the Sul Informação the president of the Portuguese Basketball Federation.

“The greatest satisfaction is to see the colour, joy and enthusiasm of the boys and girls who one day aspire to be players for our national teams and represent our main clubs”, he adds.



The Festival also serves for the selectors to observe the new basketball stars, taking into account that «this is the biggest sample of the future talents of Portuguese basketball», he summarizes.

And that's what the many games were for, spread across seven pavilions in the municipality of Albufeira.

At the opening of the competitions, on the 10th, the Algarve under-16 men's team came out on top, winning against Madeira by 57-44.

In the end, the Algarve coach was a happy man.

“The first game always has that emotion, both for the home team and for the away team. My players were comfortable, left everything on the field and got a good result. Madeira caused us some difficulties, but in the end, we won”, he said.

With the inaugural victory, the joy of the Algarve players was evident, a feeling shared by the young basketball players from Alentejo.



Alentejo's under-16 women also won, without a chance, the Bragança team by 60-12, in the second game of that day.

Not even the pandemic, and the difficulties of preparation, pinched the performance of the players. «The athletes did the best they could and we ended up winning and having fun», coach Rui Pechincha told our newspaper.

In competition, there are Sub14 (female and male) and Sub16 (male and female) players.

The last day will be this Thursday, the 14th, with the finals.

Whoever wins wins, there is one certainty: youth basketball has already won, on this return to Albufeira.


Photos: Cátia Rodrigues | Sul Informação