Having enjoyed box office success, the Alliance has taken its place on the Montreal sports scene in its first season and we can already say, without fear of error, that the club will return in 2023 within the Canadian Elite Basketball League (LECB).
“It’s 100% confirmed: We’ll be back next year and already working on the next campaign to improve the experience even more,” Annie LaRouche, Vice President of Operations said Tuesday during the review, for the team’s season.
With an average of around 2,900 spectators per home match, The Alliance is the squad that has sold the most tickets in LECB. Thus, Laroche goes even further by imagining a long-term future in Verdun Hall.
“The fans are there and they loved what they saw and I’m convinced it’s a great story that begins a long time ago,” she added.
Annie Laroche, a businesswoman, knew the challenge awaiting her when she was involved in bringing a basketball team to Montreal. Working with the Montreal Alouettes for 25 years, first with the “cheerleaders” and then within community relations, she was determined to drive the boat safely. Despite the hard work, one can only hope for a positive response from the audience.
“Relief is a good word,” she admitted Tuesday. I would say I am satisfied and reassured. Before the start of the season, many told me ‘we’ll see that’ and they have already turned up.
“In our last match when we were in 10th place [et dernière] LaRouche added: The position is in the standings and that we were definitely not going to be part of the finals, we were all sold out. It means a lot to us.”
win or lose…
On the field, the Alliance already struggled with a 4-16 record in its first season. General manager Joel Anthony can’t be fully satisfied, even though he knows his club hasn’t escaped injury. On the other hand, far from the results, he is equally pleased with the popularity of the team and the loyalty of the fans.
“I’ve never seen over the years such support from the fans, the reaction of the former NBA player, who won two championships with the Miami Heat in 2012 and 2013. It doesn’t matter if we win or if we lose, there was always encouragement.”
Washerman wants to come back
Anthony, who will return as general manager, did not want to confirm anything about coach Vincent Lavander’s future, but did reveal his satisfaction with the work done.
“In the fall, we will talk about it more, but we are happy, as Anthony mentioned, on this topic. Vincent and I will meet before he leaves for vacation.
“My desire is to continue in the league, because I know that to build something, we can not do in two and a half months, for his part issued Lavander, during his press conference with journalists. I stayed in clubs for more than five years and the first year was more complicated. The discovery is wonderful, but you You also need continuity to make progress.”
Montreal: The city of basketball?
Basketball culture seems to be well established in Montreal and the strong image has been that there are certain players from here who play in the NBA in various alliance games.
Luguentz Dort of the Oklahoma City Thunder and Chris Boucher of the Toronto Raptors were seen at Verdun Hall over the summer, as was young Benedict Mathurin, who was picked sixth overall by the Pacers of Indiana in the latest draft.
“We were really happy to see them, especially since they came from them,” said Annie Laroche, vice president of operations for Team Montreal. We didn’t have to run after invitations and beg the players saying it was going to look good. They are the ones who asked to come and watch the matches.
“He says a lot, means they believe in us, it gives us credibility,” LaRouche said. They are there to encourage our players, as well as local talent. They are all guys from Montreal and some know each other. For us, it confirms that we are doing the right things.
Alliance CEO Joel Anthony has also enjoyed seeing the Dorts, Bouchers, and Mathurins take an interest in the Alliance.
“Many players from our city and county play in the NBA and their support shows that basketball culture is very present in Montreal,” he said. We are proud that we were able to welcome them here.”
No doubt La Roche
Alliance player Hernst Laroche has never doubted Montreal’s ability to host a basketball club, admitting his unwillingness to return in 2023 after continuing his career in Tunisia from September.
“I already knew Montreal was a city of basketball, and I wasn’t surprised, he said, about the team’s box-office success. No other team in the league has had such fan support. I knew from the start it would work.”
“There is a huge group of basketball fans in Montreal, that’s for sure,” Alliance coach Vincent Lavander said. There is basketball culture and I also saw it outside the auditorium in Verdun with all these young people playing the sport in the different neighbourhoods.