This Thursday there was a food tribute to Eduardo Portela (Barcelona, ​​1934), the great promoter of the ACB since its foundation and a key player in the development of basketball for more than 50 years. Portela was coach of Montgat, Sant Josep Badalona and FC Barcelona, ​​with whom he won a Copa del Rey, and later led the sports management of the Blaugrana club for nine years. But it was in his next professional stage when he left his deepest mark on Spanish basketball. In 1982 he was a key player in the founding of the ACB, serving as manager until 1990 when he was appointed president, a position he held until 2013. Since then he has been honorary president of the ACB, which he combines with the honorary presidency of the Union of European Basketball Leagues (ULEB), of which he was also a co-founder.

For such an important occasion the ACB has gathered around his figure more than 60 protagonists of the world of basketball and sports, at present and in the development of the Association in the last 40 years. Institutions (Jorge Garbajosa, president of the FEB), clubs, players, coaches, referees, journalists (Vicente Jiménez, director of Diario AS, and Alfredo Relaño, honorary president of Diario AS) and former ACB workers They have shared food at the Asador Donostiarra Restaurant in Madrid.

Eduardo Portela was unable to attend after testing positive for Covid-19 at the last minute. “I am very sorry not to be with you as was my goal,” he explained in a recording for all attendees. “I feel honored, proud and pleased with this tribute so that in life I feel the affection of an organization to which I have dedicated my entire personal and professional career.”, he assures, concluding that “this tribute, this act of affection, fills my deposit of illusion and my desire to live. My sincerest thanks to everyone.”

Antonio Martín, president of the ACB, has highlighted that “this tribute is an act of justice, because it is fair that basketball people give him recognition”, while lamenting that “we had been waiting for two years to find a date due to the pandemic and just today, at the last moment, he tested positive”. Finally, he has referred to his position in the position that Portela held for two decades: “humbly occupying Eduardo’s chair is a source of tension, of much honor and of trying to imitate him in many things. It still continues to illuminate the current ACBnot just me.”

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