No player had more reasons to feel good at the 2021 Final Four in Cologne than Tibor Pleiss. The veteran center was playing in his hometown. He made his 7DAYS EuroCup debut with the Cologne 99ers in 2007 and was the only local player at the Final Four.
Pleiss made the most of his opportunities all season. In the first two months of the campaign, he had four games with PIRs in the 20s. However, he was sidelined at times by injury and when he returned played a lesser role. Nonetheless, he was still excellent when on the court; on a per-40-minute basis, Pleiss ranked 12th in the league scoring (22.6) and 14th in PIR (2.48), leading Efes in both categories.
At the Final Four, Pleiss was not called on in the semifinal against CSKA Moscow and was fresh for a very specific, critical role in the championship game. He came off the bench and hit a couple of deep shots to bring Barcelona's big men out of the paint. He downed a bomb from downtown over Pau Gasol, made a long two-pointer against Brandon Davies, and pulled down 3 rebounds in less than 8 minutes on the floor. Pleiss could not even walk after the game but ended up posting a picture with the EuroLeague trophy on Instagram. Its caption? "Souvenir from my hometown".