Basketball: ‘I’m an entrepreneur,’ confirms Philippe Seban, president of BLMA

Philippe Seban, the club’s optimistic head since the start of this season, sets a provisional assessment in crucial BLMA-Tarbes time on Wednesday 27 April for the 21st.

You were elected BLMA President in September 2021 without ever being from Seraglio, what is your motivation?

Specifically to give the organization a new outside look and perhaps make it evolve in another way. My idea was to bring and develop projects when Mayor Cyril Meunier came to pick me up.

I had participated, without being a part of it but inviting it, on the previous team’s board during Frank Manna’s first year in office (his predecessor, editor’s note) to get involved in certain topics but then left. General because I didn’t know what to actually bring.

After eight months of practice, very heavy legacy and chained galleys (Dabovic, Mbuyamba, Tchatchouang, Leite, various player changes, Covid cases, etc), what rating do you draw and what fun, if any, do you have there? Found ?

The balance sheet is positive because today I have more knowledge of things and issues. In fact, we have left a lot of projects behind, some of which are possible, some of which are not. One of the projects was to put the BLMA into a company with the shareholders (by passing the 1901 Act to the SAS, Société Anonyme à Actions Simplifiées), it would be possible from next season that would provide opportunities for sponsorship, the collection of some financial means … and a wide range of actions.

No, it wasn’t always easy, I’ve run into unpleasant surprises, but I’m not someone to give up, I’m an entrepreneur, and you have to move on. The situation you describe is a state, a legacy, to be assumed, I suppose I have no choice.

Where is the club currently financially?

We have taken measures that will allow the club to be sustainable. Negative balance? Not necessarily because in reality, we’re paying for last season’s Covid, closed doors, and at the same time the income of private partners has fallen by half as societies assumed. We have certain debts but I suppose the entire club.

Sportsly speaking, the club, which almost seems like a “gag” given the context, slipped into the top 8 Europeans!

The Euroleague caused a setback in the league, we had contradictory results. This great performance reassures me and gives me a lot of hope for the future. But given the medical context, one day I found myself sending 4 “professionals” and 3 guys from the training center to Moscow, it was not easy.

On the other hand, it’s a real or double LFB match in this match against the Tarbes!

There is always fear but no matter what happens we will always be there. If we win, that will be a good thing, and if we lose, we will play in the complementary roles. I’m in my league, but I think it’s going to happen, I’m an optimist by nature. However, we are safe from any surprises, good or bad for that matter.

Success would be synonymous with no less than a qualifying quarter-final, as in the Euroleague and Coupe de France. Can we then talk about a successful season?

It’s hard to say but Covid and injuries could have hurt us more. I am proud of my players, for their courage, their disobedience, their commitment… who set an example.

Will the BLMA be able to be ambitious again next season or not?

It is still a little early to respond to this topic but I am an ambitious person and we can count on the unwavering support of Cyril Meunier… Without him, the club is no longer the same. We will by our means, knowing that LDLC Asvel’s advertised recruits (Gruda and G. Williams) will account for all of the total payroll that will go down.

We are monitored, no more, no less, by the National Committee for Administrative Control. Regarding a possible European Cup, no decision has been made.

At the beginning of your mandate, you mentioned major structural projects!

I always have them in mind because I want to keep the club, and come up with something strong. Once I know the calendar, I would like to organize a big event at the Sud de France Arena.

This Wednesday in Latis, there will be no need to take out the calculators, to reconcile wins, defeats and gaps … two steps from the end of the regular season, so the BLMA who is in eighth place (28 points) has a hit ahead of its followers, Tarbes Gespe Bigorre and St- Amand Hainaut Basket, who will finish the drill at LDLC Asvel and whose Gazelles have a positive target average (+2).

On the other hand, Heraultis lost the first leg against TGB quai de l’Adour with a close score (76-74). A victory for a group registering the arrival of Marie Bernadette Mboyamba and the block will be said no matter the gap.

Faced with the Tarbes, we have no choice anyway. Success would be synonymous with the eighth place match while failure would condemn us to playing the game. Girls know what to do to win ‘ says Valerie Demory.

On the Tarbes side, we have little to lose on this trip on the Euroleague floor. With manpower reduced in depth, the TGB nevertheless created a upset against LDLC Asvel (66-63) before being about to do so again at Bourges (defeating 69-73, having counted up to 12 points ahead). Thus distrust will be essential in Lattes.

This is Wednesday8pm at Palais des sports de Lattes, BLMA – Tarbes GB (please note that this match is sold out).

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