Tibor Pleiss, Valencia: ‘We do have a social responsibility’


Hello, basketball fans! We’re in the last part of the regular season and the playoffs seem out of reach for us. But we at Valencia Basket have shown, especially in our home games, that we are in good shape. Our current winning streak at Pabellon Fuente de San Luis, with four EuroLeague wins in a row, gives us confidence for the next games. We want to extend this streak at home but we also want to win on the road again. It has been too long since we beat Unicaja Malaga at their court back on January 4. We’ve won twice on the road this season. Both wins were against Spanish teams, which means that we have not won any game outside of Spain so far. That is definitely not enough! If you want to reach the playoffs, you need to win games on the road, too. Maybe we should think about flying our home crowd to the road games. That might be a good and clever investment!

And if the current situation regarding the playoffs was not already bad enough, I was sidelined the last two games due to a foot injury. Not a major injury, but more like obstinate and just annoying. Being out for a game is really tough for a player. You want to help your team, but unfortunately you can’t. I have no other solution than pushing my teammates from the bench and giving them good advice. And if you play against former teams, like we did against Bamberg last week, it hurts even more not being part of the roster. Still, it was good to see some familiar faces and also some fans that visited beautiful Valencia. I had a good time back then in Bamberg, winning the German domestic league and the national cup in all three years that I played there. Almost every player on our team has been injured for some part of this season, but slowly the injured players are coming back on the court again. We will need everyone now to defend our title in the Spanish League. Of course, it won’t be easy since our opponents are playing really good at the moment. But the playoffs are different to the regular season, and a good momentum can change a lot. Small things will be significant for winning a series. We will be ready.

Another thing that happened recently is that I was named One Team Ambassador. It is a great honor to be part of Euroleague Basketball’s corporate social responsibility program. I have played now for many years in different clubs and have learned how important it is to get involved in these activities. Basketball, and sports in general, bring people together, no matter what their profession is or where they come from. The EuroLeague is a big institution in basketball and I like the idea of caring about people who do not have the chance to watch games inside the arena. It is always a touching moment when children, for instance, start to smile and have fun playing with pros. We do have a social responsibility and we need to involve everyone who is or wants to be part of our sport.

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