By Stefan Djordjevic/ firstname.lastname@example.org
San Pablo Burgos has qualified for its first Basketball Champions League season and they’ve been doing quite well so far. They are holding a 3-3 record in Group B and their last win came against Hapoel Bank Yahav Jerusalem – one of the favorites to go all the way.
Now, they may be a new team to the BCL but they’ve got quite a bit of experience in their roster. One of the guys they count on is Vitor Benite who won the BCL bronze medal with UCAM Murcia two years ago.
Benite maybe didn’t start the season as good as expected but he certainly showed what he can do in that last game against Hapoel. He stepped up banking 17 points in the fourth quarter and finished the game with 26 points on 6-9 from deep while adding three rebounds and two assists.
— Basketball Champions League (@BasketballCL) November 20, 2019
Brasilian rising star
Benite started off in Brasil playing for Pinheiros and already in his first pro season averaged ten points while shooting 46% from behind the arc.
The ten 19-year-old moved to Franca for the next two seasons and continued with great performances which culminated in the second year when Benite won three Brasilian League rewards – NBB Sixth Man of the Year, the NBB Most Improved Player and the NBB Revelation Player.
That helped him reach the Brasilian national team roster for the 2011 FIBA Americas Championship winning the silver medal. Benite averaged 7.4 points while his best outings of 21 and 19 points came against Uruguay and Cuba. He shot 5-7 and 5-8 from deep in those games.
Benite then moved to Limeira for a one-year stint before joining Flamengo where he spent three very successful seasons.
Returning to one’s roots
Benite was actually a kind of a returnee to Flamengo as it was his first club when he started learning basketball at the age of seven. This time around, however, he was joining a superteam.
They’ve been considered the title-favorites with the addition of Benite, Marquinhos, Olivinha, Kojo Mensah and Shilton dos Santos, and they delivered winning three straight Brasilian League trophies and the 2014 FIBA Intercontinental Cup.
Benite was named the Sixth Man of the Year for his last season with Flamengo. In 2014 and 2015, he won medals with the national team – bronze at the 2014 South American Basketball Championship and gold at the 2015 Pan American Games.
Switching Brasil for Spain
After seven pro seasons in Brasil, Benite decided to move overseas, to Europe and join the Spanish UCAM Murcia. Aside from the Spanish League, Benite also gained 7DAYS EuroCup experience where Murcia made it to the Top 16 phase in the 2016-17 campaign while the next year, they finished third in Basketball Champions League taking the bronze medal.
He then moved to Cedevita but his stay there didn’t last long as the team had various issues, both basketball and financial-wise. After 16 games with the Croatian club, Benite returned to Spain but this time joined San Pablo Burgos where he finished the season.
Benite was also playing for Brasil at the 2019 FIBA World Cup and although he had a strong outing against Team USA in the Second Round with 21 points on 4-5 from deep, his squad couldn’t advance further.
He stayed for this season as well and helped Burgos qualify for the Basketball Champions League and although Benite’s had somewhat of a slow start, he’s starting to show what he’s made off and so is Burgos as they make the best of their debut in the competition.
Photo Credit: Basketball Champions League