At the annual meeting of the Union of European Leagues of Basketball (ULEB) in Bled, Slovenia on Wednesday, Eduardo Portela was re-elected as the organization’s president for a period of four years, until June 2008. Portela, who is also president of the Spanish League (ACB), will form part of the ULEB board of directors, along with four vice-presidents: Radovan Lorbek, president of the Adriatic League (ABA), Enrico Prandi, president of the Italian League (Lega Serie A), Otto Reintjes, general commissioner of the German League (BBL), and Rene Le Goff, the new president of the French League (LNB), who was given a special welcome to the ULEB by Portela.
From its founding in 1991 until March of 1998, the ULEB was presided over by Gian Luigi Porelli of Italy, who is currently honorary president of the organization. From 1998 on, Portela has been its president. ‘I am thankful and very satisfied with this re-election,’ Portela said in Bled on Wednesday. ‘The model proposed by the ULEB goes forward, always with higher objectives and ambitions. The new board of directors elected at this meeting guarantees the continuity of our projects. Looking back, you realize where we were then and where we are now.’
The meeting in Bled has also meant the approval of the admission proposal of the Czech Republic League, a fact which, according to Portela, ‘shows the constant expansion that is taking place in the ULEB, based on a sports management model that has proven reliable and that, little by little, is being implemented in countries which looked absolutely unreachable for us just a few years ago.’
The national leagues also approved the ULEB Strategic Plan for the forthcoming years, to be overseen by Andrea Bassani, the Euroleague’s Institutional Relations Director. Some of the topics which the Strategic Plan includes are:
– The creation of a system that contributes to the connection between all competitions (domestic leagues, ULEB Cup, Euroleague), and which keeps in mind sporting and structural aspects, as well as minimum requirements for access to the higher-level competitions.
– The creation of a global project relating to the ULEB Cup, based on two big interest groups: those teams who are interested in the connection between competitions and those who consider that the ULEB Cup improves their domestic competitions.
‘The Strategic Plan is another step forward in our future growth,’ Portela said. ‘We must study the pros and cons of every proposal, but we must do so, as we always do, with an open mind, looking for the integration of more and more people into our project.’
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