The beautiful journey in the Pyrenees has come to an end. I can only keep beautiful moments and strong emotions which fortunately are many.
I took over the team in November 2019, which until then had a negative record of just 2 wins and 11 losses. The goal was to save the team. Making an amazing run, the team not only survived, but also managed to reach the second group for the playoffs, which, however, did not take place due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
In the 2020-21 season, with a young roster, we reached the 8th place and the playoffs did not take place again due to the pandemic. In the 2021-22 season, again with a young roster, we finished in 8th place and played in the playoffs for the 3rd time in the team's history, making our presence with a victory against a very strong opponent.
This year's season 2022-23, started again with a young roster, which throughout my career has been an extra motivation, regardless of the budget which was always one of the lowest in the category, being optimistic and with entousiasm but also facing significant obstacles that we came across unexpectedly. Serious injuries of several important players, then scouting research for replacements and integration of new players during an already exhausting schedule, being on the road mainly with 9 away games out of the 14 that I was the head coach.
However, in my last game as a coach, I delivered the team with 5 wins, and far away from the playout risk and 2 wins away from the TOP 5. I was sure that in the remaining 12 games of the first phase, having the 8 of those games at home, and with the return of the injured foreign player, we would again be in a good position and claim the best this team of players was capable of. Unfathomable factors stopped this journey and no further analysis is required. I am sure that my players though will make it again!
A big thank you to all of my players over the years!
Most of the youngsters who played professionally for the first time, had their first leading role and almost all of them managed to continue their careers higher at all levels, with good contracts and in very strong teams of even a higher division.
To the wonderful fans, volunteers and sponsors, I express my gratitude for the support and the heartful warmth that I personally experienced. I thank the staff and management for their cooperation.
The municipalities of Tarbes-Lourdes have my respect for their continuous support to the team.
Rest assured that Coach Chris Chougaz has worked with all of his heart and soul to defend the interests of the team, purely, unconditionally, proudly and with altruism.
My journey continues and I will always seek for teams, partners, cities and experiences with enthousiasm, motivation and passion for basketball!
Thank you Union Tarbes Lourdes