Again Tibor Pleiß is in the Final Four of the EuroLeague with Anadolu Istanbul, again the German national basketball player is reaching for the crown.

“We won the EuroLeague last year. But for me it’s like winning the title that we’ve made it to the Final Four,” said the centre, who triumphed with the Turkish club in his hometown of Cologne last season.

In Belgrade, the most important trophy in European club basketball is at stake. On Thursday (6 p.m.), Istanbul will play Olympiakos Piraeus in the semi-finals.

“So many teams, so many players fight for it every year and only very few make it,” Pleiß said. That’s why qualifying for the final tournament is so special, he said.

In 2018/19 Istanbul had failed in the final to ZSKA Moscow, in 2019/20 the Final Four did not take place because of the Corona pandemic, in 2020/21 Pleiß beat FC Barcelona with Anadolu in the final.

The Catalans will play their second semi-final against arch-rivals Real Madrid on Thursday (21.00/both MagentaSport).

“We have to play together and move the ball,” Pleiß said with regard to the upcoming tasks. He added that his team is a unit and ready for the highlight: “I’ve learned to trust my teammates,” said the 32-year-old: “We help each other. That has always made us strong. Someone always steps into the breach.”