Vlad Moldoveanu: Back from injury, back to Cluj and back in FIBA Europe Cup!
CLUJ-NAPOCA (FIBA Europe Cup) - Among the players lining up for the decisive Qualification Round 2, there is a name and a face that many FIBA Europe Cup followers will recognize.
Both belong to U-BT Cluj-Napoca power forward Vlad Moldoveanu, who decided to return to Romania this summer after his latest overseas adventure in Turkey.
Entering his third consecutive FIBA Europe Cup campaign, the Romanian big man brushed off the dust from his media degree and agreed to open up to the fans about a perspective-changing injury, the decision to come back to Cluj and the upcoming tie against Israeli side Ironi Ness Ziona.
Hope this blog finds everyone well.
First and foremost, I want to say I am very happy to get to compete in the FIBA Europe Cup again. Going through the qualifying stages last year with Buyukcekmece helped me better understand the way this works and how to approach these kind of games. I'm looking forward to our home-away against Ness Ziona.
For me, I take it as a blessing to be back on the court. Coming off an injury that required arthroscopic intervention on my left knee, I am just happy to be back out there and do what I love doing, which is to play basketball. First lesson in all of this: don't take anything for granted!
"We want to make a long run in the FIBA Europe Cup, but we first have to pass Ness Ziona."
Coming back from an injury is never easy; coming back from one that required some kind of doctor intervention, even harder. I had no experience with something like this, so I had to take it one day at a time and that has kind of translated to now too. I just take it one day at a time, enjoy the process. It totally shifted my focus from results to the process, to the details. Taught me to take it one day at a time. In a longer rehab process, you will have good days and bad days but you have to understand that comes with the territory and that you have to be patient and resilient.
The main reason behind the decision to return to Cluj was a chance to compete for trophies while coming back from the injury. My experience in Turkey taught me that maybe I am not built for teams that do not fight at the top of their respective leagues. Everywhere I played before, I fought for titles, EuroCup Play-Offs. So it was a different experience for me. Even that one year that I didn't play any European cups, in France, was one that we fought for the Play-Offs until the last two games. Returning to Cluj was a great option for me – playing at home, playing for trophies, playing with a coach I know very well, a great medical staff and a club that is extremely solid and professional from top to bottom.
"My experience in Turkey taught me that maybe I am not built for teams that do not fight at the top of their respective leagues."
Not much has changed since I was last here. The team's ambitions are the same, extremely high. A few new faces but we all are pulling for each other and put the team before any individual accolades. So far, the pre-season has been great for us and we finished off with a great win in the Romanian Super Cup on Saturday.
Now it is time to shift focus to a true final – the two games with Ness Ziona. We want to make a long run in the FIBA Europe Cup, but we first have to pass Ness Ziona. Like I said earlier, staying in the present and focusing on the process and the results will come. We rely on a total team effort, from all staff and players, so I think that is our strength and will be our "calling card" this year.
A stretch four with an all-around game, Vlad Moldoveanu is just as handy with a pen in hand as he is picking and popping on the hardwood. Having played hoops in seven different countries throughout his career, the U-BT Cluj-Napoca and Romanian national team power forward is happy to put his media degree to use to give fans a first-person frame of reference to the life of an athlete.