Iberostar Tenerife's win the perfect tonic for MVP Bogris
SANTA CRUZ DE TENERIFE (Basketball Champions League) - The next time Iberostar Tenerife boss Txus Vidorreta has a player wake up from a pre-game nap feeling unwell, it may be a good omen.
This week, before a Basketball Champions League clash with Sidigas Avellino in Italy, Greece international center Georgios Bogris went down for a snooze and woke up in poor shape.
"When I took my nap, I was feeling good but after I woke up, all my body felt exhausted," he said.
Bogris did not look sick when he played because he scored a season-high 22 points and led Iberostar Tenerife to a 76-75 triumph. He was named as the Basketball Champions League MVP of the Week.
Bogris might not have been the MVP had it not been for Davin White, whose 3-point play just two seconds from the end lifted the Spanish club into the lead.
The Greek excelled in the contest but did miss two important free-throws inside the final minute.
"I need to take my teammates to dinner," Bogris said. "It's because of Davin, of course, that I have this (award). He saved my rear-end."
It was a great night of basketball, especially for Bogris.
"I was so happy that we won like this because these wins show that the team has character," Bogris said. "The atmosphere was fantastic, too. Italy is like Greece - it gets a little crazy.
"When you feel that you cannot give anymore, the adrenaline comes from the fans, which is great. For me, it was also a chance to show what this (Basketball Champions League) competition is like. There were a lot of score changes, first half and second half, nice way of playing, it must have been nice to watch."
The win was even sweeter because every time Iberostar Tenerife have to play away from home, it takes them a very long time to get to their destination.
"We had left at 3:30 in the night (before Avellino) and all the traveling, the difference in the weather," he said, explaining what may have contributed to him feeling run down after his nap. "We left here and it was 30 degrees and then we got to Madrid and Italy and it 7 degrees and 10 degrees."
The outcome of the game allowed Iberostar Tenerife to snap a two-game losing streak in the competition and left both sides with 4-2 records. They trail Juventus Utena (5-1) in Group D.
Bogris says Iberostar Tenerife had played very well the previous two weeks.
"No one can blame us," he said. "We kept Strasbourg to 60 points over 40 minutes and Oostende to 66 so, I think we did a great job. We just missed our 3-point shots and that is really important for us."
This game (against Sidigas Avellino), we didn't score like we usually do, but we take the win. It was good defense because we cannot trust the offense always. It was a great win for us for momentum in the best moment of the season because with a loss, we go back from our goal which is first place."
Bogris is in his third season in Spain, having spent the previous two with MoraBanc Andorra and Dominion Bilbao Basket.
"Life here is a little bit slower," he said of Tenerife. "The answer for everything you ask is always, 'Tomorrow'. But when you can wear your flip-flops in November, this is happiness. When you feel something strange or are down, you can go to the beach and forget everything else.
"The travel is so hard, though. You have to always go to Madrid or Barcelona, so that's a three-and-a-half hour flight. Then you have to get on a bus, like to Utena, Lithuania, we were traveling 13 hours total."
Bogris and his teammates, therefore, spend a lot of time in airports. It serves as extra bonding time.
"We're close and a big part of that is the coach," Bogris said. "He's so cool and doesn't make the players feel too much pressure.
"We have a team in which everyone knows the roles they have in the team and that's important. It's not like everyone thinks, 'Oh, I need to play good in order to go to a good team.' Some clubs have situations like this and it's not good for the team.
"We have a lot of players, especially local ones that are happy with the team and want to continue and they made new contracts last summer so everyone plays for the team and cares about the win and not about the individual. This is really important.
"On the other hand, we enjoy each other's company and do stuff together. Maybe even in the airports it helps because we spend so much time together, drinking coffee and discussing everything."
Bogris accepts that he may not have a leading role every week. Fran Vasquez was unavailable and Bogris "needed to step in to cover the loss of him" against Avellino.
So how does he explain his performance?
"When you get minutes on the floor and you get confidence, things happen," he said. "I'm really happy that I had a great game against a really good opponent and it was a big win for us."