From the VI edition of the Tournament, the male MVP trophy will bear the name of BIENVENU LETUNI.

From the VI edition of the Tournament, the male MVP trophy will bear the name of BIENVENU LETUNI.

Born in 1994 in Bandundu, a city in the west of the Republic of Congo, he was discovered by Anicet Lavodrama (Spanish naturalized center, born in the Central African Republic and player of Ferrol for 8 seasons, 3 in the Forum Valladolid and 1 in the Youth of Badalona) in a campus organized in the sub-Saharan country in his continuous search for discovering new values.

In 2010 he played the V edition of our Tournament. At that time, he was 224 cm tall, with a wingspan of 245 cm and wore a 56. He had arrived in Badalona a year earlier, accompanied by another Congolese player, Webber Lufanga, with more projection than Bienvenu.

On 1 March 2010, the DKV Seguros Foundation and Juventud financed an operation for a tumour in his pituitary gland to reduce the future effects of his illness, Acromegalia, similar to the gigantism of players such as Roberto Dueñas or George Muresan.

Bienvenu had previously played for a team in Kinshasha, the same team as Dikembe Mutombo.

On February 23rd of this year with Anicet Lavodrama and Carlos Jiménez, journalist of Solobasket, who were the two people who had direct contact with Bienvenu, we created a WhatsApp group with the Spanish Association of Acromegaly and the CDE Portus Victoriae, to follow Bienvenu’s life and the possibility of incorporating him in Santander socially and professionally.

However, his physical characteristics, his pathology… made it difficult for him to have a productive life as an adult, who wants to cover his needs and help his family.

Anicet hoped to give him this possibility, because Bienvenu was then living “in the big city of Kinshasa, which is quite cosmopolitan. Culturally, he would have no problem, only having an environment where he could feel he had a chance to earn a decent living. What was traumatic for Bienvenu was not when he arrived from Kinshasa to Badalona, but when he had to return to the Congo without having been able to finish his baccalaureate, or any vocational training, and without being able to continue playing basketball without a salary or real prospects of earning a living”.

Bienvenu managed to start two projects in 2018: a small tobacconist’s shop (drinks, chocolates, newspapers and soaps) and a vegetable garden for potatoes and cassava. But the impacts of the Covid-19 restrictions forced him to abandon these projects.

In order to spread the knowledge of Acromegalia among the participants of the Tournament, through a brief talk with the members of the Association before the opening ceremony of the Tournament, we wanted Bienvenu to accumulate all his personal experience, since he arrived at Juventud, one of the best historical quarries of our basketball, and to collect as much material as possible, including, if possible, some pictures of him that could be part of a small supporting document.

Shortly afterwards, we learned through Anicet that Bienvenu had tuberculosis, but he was already undergoing treatment and we thought that, as he was still fighting to get ahead, it was still possible to achieve the goal we had set ourselves.

But on the 2nd of May he could no longer maintain his fighting spirit, which the best pivots have, and he passed away.

The CDE Portus Victoriae would like to thank the Spanish Association of Acromegaly, whose conference is still on, Jordi Martí, coach and friend of Bienvenu, who has maintained a personal relationship with him over the years, providing him as much help as he could, Carlos Jiménez, one of whose articles on Bienvenu was the starting point of our project, and to Anicet Lavodrama, a person I did not know and in whom I have discovered personal qualities above and beyond his professional career, for having allowed us to share the illusion of all of us to have achieved the best for that Big Boy who, deep down, was Bienvenu Letuni (DEP).

Gabriel Pérez Penido

President CDE Portus Victoriae

Media coverage

Media coverage

We are closing agreements with several media outlets, including television stations, so that the Tournament can be followed every day. Among others, the opening and closing ceremonies, as well as the two finals, will be filmed. The Press Department has been working towards this end for several weeks.

New dates

New dates

As we said in the first news item, after 12 years things have totally changed. And, after consulting with teams that participated or not in the first five editions, we have realised that the dates initially proposed, in line with those, do not fit in with the annual planning of the teams.

For this reason, in the last few days we have been working quietly to achieve the first objective: the best accommodation for the participants on the new dates, when Santander receives thousands of visitors, and in the smallest number of them. We have already booked them and we are just waiting for a budget.

The VI International Basketball Tournament City of Santander U14 will take place during Easter Week 2023, from 6th to 9th April, with 24 teams of 12 players and 2 coaches, 12 boys’ teams and, for the first time, 12 girls’ teams, reserving 8 (4+4) for the Cantabrian teams which, in reality, are 6 because, as you know, Astillero has already signed up its 2 teams.

From next Monday 21st November we will be informing you of all the news as they happen.

First two teams registered

As we said months ago, the EBM ARSAN ASTILLERO has started the registration of the Cantabrian teams. The boys and girls of the club coached by Pablo Frechoso are the first to do so.

From CDE Portus Victoriae we thank you for your support from the first day to the VI International Basketball Tournament City of Santander and we hope that its development meets your expectations.

Pre-registration period begins

Today, Thursday 1st September, the application period for pre-registration of teams wishing to participate in the VI TIBCS, including those from Cantabria, has begun. After a year of work, the CDE PORTUS VICTORIAE has approached several hundred foreign and Spanish clubs and will continue to do so in the coming days to complete the 24 selected in strict order of application, after payment of payment 1 in October. However, through the Tournament website you will be kept permanently informed about this procedure and other aspects of the Tournament, which will be specified until the start of the Tournament. Some of you have already consulted it and, at your request, this deadline has been extended, as you are still preparing the calendar for the 2022/23 season. Finally, we would like to remind you of the following:

1)Only 24 teams can participate (12+12) including the Cantabrian teams.

2)The international character of the Tournament has already been achieved. We only need to specify the number of foreign teams participating.

3)All the matches will have the presence of 2 referees and 2 members of the score table.

4) The best venues will be used, which will also host the opening ceremony and the finals.

5) The opening ceremony has been under preparation for months to make it spectacular and unforgettable for all those who attend. It is free of charge.

6)Likewise, we are working to ensure that the fraternisation parties for the players, on the one hand, and the coaches, on the other, will take place on Saturday, 1st July, with all the necessary security measures in place.

7) The VI TIBCS will maintain the levels of organisational commitment and seriousness already demonstrated in the last 3 organised by the CDE PORTUS VICTORIAE.

8)The MVP trophies for both sexes will be named after two people who have left their mark on both the Tournament and Cantabrian basketball and will be awarded by the people who best represent them.

9)We would like to thank the Cantabrian Basketball Federation for their support to the project. Without it, it would have been impossible to develop it.

10)The Board of Directors of CDE PORTUS VICTORIAE is at your disposal to solve any doubts you may have and will study any suggestion that may help to improve the objective we are pursuing.