Bogris unsure how to react after title with Tenerife
SAN CRISTOBAL DE LA LAGUNA (Basketball Champions League) - Georgios Bogris had already won a youth European national team championship and played for a spot in the Olympics. But the Greek international really didn’t know how to react to winning the inaugural Basketball Champions League title with Iberostar Tenerife.
"Here we are … in the end of a great competition as winners. Still without realizing what we succeeded. But this feeling when the referee blows the whistle for last time is still in my head," Bogris said.
"I didn't know how to react. Scream? Laugh? Cry? The answer is everything together. But the best feeling was a little bit later. And this is the meaning of all this at the end of the day. It is the peace you have with your self knowing that you made it. That all those years of hard work, of pressure, all those years away from your home, paid off. And worth every penny because the memories from this success will follow us for life and this is unique."
Bogris played six straight summers for Greece at youth European Championships between 2004 and 2009 - playing twice each at the U16, U18 and U20 levels. He finished second at the FIBA U18 European Championship 2007 and then culminated his youth career two years later with the title at the FIBA U20 European Championship 2009.
After becoming a professional player, Bogris pulled over the blue and white of Greece again three times in the 3x3 discipline, playing at the FIBA 3x3 Basketball World Cup 2012, FIBA 3x3 Europe Cup 2014 as well as the European Games 2015.
Bogris finally made his Greece senior national team debut in the original basketball discipline at the Olympic Qualifying Tournament 2016 - Italy. But the Basketball Champions League crown clearly means just about as much to Bogris than any of those other experiences, when you hear him talk about it.
"This title means a lot for the player Bogris, because he established himself at a high level and because it will push him to work harder to experience moments like this again, because this is why he is playing," said Bogris, who was selected to the Star Lineup selection team for the Basketball Champions League season.
"But on the other hand, this title means much more to the person George, me, because it gave me peace, happiness and great memories to follow me forever."
Tenerife opened the Basketball Champions League with eight wins in their first 10 games and won Group F with an 11-3 record. And Txus Vidorreta’s club raced out to an 18-5 record in the Spanish Liga Endesa.
When asked about when the team really started thinking it could be a Basketball Champions League contender, Bogris said: "I think it just grew as an idea as we were moving into the season. We are still the outsider in ACB, we know that, but now I am sure that two words are spinning around in everybody’s head: 'Why not?'"
Bogris said the balance on the team is what makes it successful - with five players averaging between 8.6 points and 10.1 points a game. And Tenerife dished out 19.9 assists a game compared to 12.9 turnovers a contest.
"We are not a team of one player. We are not egoists and we are a smart team I believe," said Bogris, who averaged 8.6 points, 3.7 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 0.8 steals in the Basketball Champions League.
"But all this begins with the coach. He built this team, he brought us together. He is a coach who knows how to handle players. He understands when he has to be tough and when to let it go. We are playing team basketball, we have patience in our game and players who play for the team."
All that has led Iberostar Tenerife to winning the inaugural Basketball Champions League title - and Georgios Bogris not really sure about how to react to it.