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GRE - Bogris aims to capitalize on big opportunity

Georgios Bogris (GRE)
Georgios Bogris (GRE) - PAOK (Greek League)

ATHENS (FIBA Basketball World Cup) - Giorgos Bogris has had to bide his time and wait for his chance to play for Greece's senior team.

Anyone who's seen him compete for his country at the 2009 U20 European Championship in Rhodes might have thought his opportunity would have already come because he was the leading scorer in that side that won the title.

However, basketball nations like Greece have a deep reservoir of talent and many veterans.

While Kostas Papanikolaou, Evangelo Mantzaris and Kostas Sloukas were also in that U20 side and already have tournament experience with the senior team, Bogris does not.

But after a strong domestic campaign with PAOK, he was named by new coach Fotis Katsikaris in the preliminary squad for the FIBA Basketball World Cup.

"It was a goal in life," the big man said of playing for Greece.

"I've been waiting five years now, since 2009 after I had my last involvement with the youth.

"I'm glad it came this year because it was a busy and very tough year for me and for the whole team.

"After the success at club level, the call came and it was like the icing on the cake. It's nice to be rewarded for your efforts."

Even after his impressive season, Bogris admits he was not counting on a call-up.

"The truth is that I did not expect it because there are very well known players in front of me," he said.

"But for various reasons, the call came and I am very happy to be here.

"It gives me a chance.

"I think the timing is right and I'm ready to take advantage.

"I will give as much energy, as much soul and passion as I have to fight on the court and claim a place in the final dozen."