How is an elite player capable of leaving everything behind to be able to play two categories below? And why do it when the dream of professional basketball has required so much effort to achieve it?

A priori, these two questions could have been asked of Marc Gasol himself when last November he decided to return to Spain to be able to join the ranks of his Bàsquet Girona. But long before this happened, back in the summer of 2019, it had been Albert Sàbat who had had to answer these questions after setting out on the road back home just when his career was going through its sweetest moment.

A decision that very few understood at the time since the Catalan player thus put an end to four years in the Endesa League, with offers still on the table and knowing really well what it had cost him to settle into an elite that had required up to four consecutive promotions from the LEB Gold League.

But Albert Sàbat seemed to have a plan, as he confessed back then in a first interview in which he seemed to make his intentions clear (read interview). Because the player from Llagostera had returned home not in search of a golden retirement but to be able to promote a project that wanted to gain weight in the LEB Plata League and for which he sensed a great future.

A bet that has needed just three seasons to be able to take his team to the very Endesa League, but in which the man from Girona believed at the time with his eyes closed. Because behind him, the possibility of achieving what is now the fifth promotion of his career to the highest national competition.

LEB Gold / LEB Silver: Palmares Albert Sàbat
Season Equipment Palmares
2007/08 Akasvayu Vic Champion Cup + Promotion LEB Gold
2011/12 Iberostar Canary Islands Cup Champion + Promotion to Endesa League
2012/13 Lucentum Alicante Promotion to Endesa League
2013/14 Ford Burgos Promotion to Endesa League
2014/15 Ford Burgos Promotion to Endesa League
2019/20 Basketball Girona Runner-up Cup + Promotion LEB Gold
2021/22 Basketball Girona Promotion to Endesa League
7 Promotions + 2 Cup titles

The fifth promotion to the Endesa League, the most valuable:

The historical record of the 8 promotions to the Endesa League conquered by Jorge García is still far away, but the five promotions of Albert Sàbat place the Catalan point guard in a privileged place in the history of the competition. A fifth promotion that allows him to match two historical figures of the stature of Urko Otegui and Ricardo Úriz, remaining just one promotion away from two legends such as point guard David Gil and center Taylor Coppenrath.

Although, surely, the one won last Sunday in Fontajau will remain in Albert’s mind as the most special of a race in which he has been the protagonist of the two promotions of Bàsquet Girona. First from LEB Plata to LEB Oro the year in which the Covid-19 stopped the competitions and, later, with the promotion to the Endesa League this same season. Of course, without subtracting one iota of importance from the promotions reaped with the jerseys of Iberostar Canarias, Lucentum Alicante and Ford Burgos (x2).

A track record that will go up to 9 titles counting the double achieved in LEB Plata (League + Cup) with Akasvayu Vic at the beginning of his career or the Copa Princesa won at Santiago Martín with Iberostar Canarias.

Season statistics – Albert Sàbat:

Games played: 39
Minutes: 18.50pp
Points: 8.3pp
Rebounds: 1.1pp
Assists: 2.2 pp
Recoveries: 0.6pp
Plugs: —pp
Fouls received: 1.9 pp
Rating: 6.5pp

Sports career – Albert Sàbat:

Lower category: CB Llagostera and Sant Josep Girona
2002/05: Adepal Figueres / Casademont Girona (EBA / ACB)
2005/06: Plus Pujol Lleida (LEB Gold)
2006/07: Rural Tenerife (LEB Gold)
2006/07: Gestibérico Vigo (LEB Silver)
2007/08: Akasvayu Vic (LEB Silver)

2008/09: CB Vic (LEB Gold)
2009/10: Sant Josep Girona (LEB Gold)
2010/12: Iberostar Canarias (LEB Gold)
2012/13: Lucentum Alicante (LEB Gold)
2013/15: Ford Burgos (LEB Gold)
Divina Seguros Joventut (Endesa League)
2017/19: Monbus Obradoiro (Endesa League)
2019/20: Girona Basketball (LEB Silver)
2020/22: Basketball Girona (LEB Gold)