Posts Tagged ‘FIBA’


Fadi El Khatib recieving the Stankovic Cup from President Michel Suleiman. Congratulations Lebanon!

Lebanon always had its club Sagesse, none other, winning Asia championships and events, like in 1999, 2000 and 2004, right?

Now you can add the 2010 Lebanese national team’s name to Sagesse. It did not just win.

It kicked ass.

After leading the game from start to end (almost, Japan led by 1 at the beginning :P), the Lebanese national team cruised to the game after a strong first quarter for a 97-59 win, with Rony Fahed leading the way with 23 points, helped by Fadi El Khatib’s 21 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists and Jackson Vroman’s efficient 16 points.  Winning by as much as 41 throughout the game, Lebanon finished the 1st quarter up by 21, with El Khatib’s 10 points off 4 shots being the major difference as well as Fahed’s two of seven three-pointers coming in that quarter as well.

Meanwhile, the Japanese team were facing a lot of trouble, and were playing as if they were a completely different team from the series they played the winners in Japan, being dominated on the rebounds and points in the paint and had only one player score more than ten points, Takumi Ishikazi with 14.

Playing in front of a packed home crowd in Ghazeer, the Lebanese finished this tournament with a perfect record of 6 wins and was awarded the cup from the huge basketball fan Lebanese President Michel Suleiman, who was accompanied by Interior minister Ziad Baroud and his presence was thanked for by FIBA Asia Deputy Secretary General Hagop Khajirian, who also said that basketball is a “religion in Lebanon. And the presense of the President of Lebanon only enhances that reputation.”


FIBA Asia Stankovic Cup 2010 Logo

As you all know by now, Lebanon is hosting the 3rd FIBA Asia Stankovic Cup, which will take place in Ghazir Court Club from August 7 until August 15. There will be ten national teams playing, including the hosts and 2009 FIBA Asian Champions in Iran. Other nations that will participate going to be defending champs Jordan, who needed a wild card in order to qualify ( Never heard of that happen to anyone in any sport :S ),  Iraq and Syria, who qualified from West Asia, 2004 champion Qatar that represents the Gulf, the Philippines from Southeast Asia, runner ups Kazakhstan from Middle Asia. East Asia will be represented by the Chinese Taipei and Japan.

This tournament is like the FIBA Asian Championship minus the Chinese team (the real Chinese team with Yao Ming and co.), since China plays in the FIBA Stankovic Continental Champions Cup, where they finished with a bronze medal.

The ten teams are divided into two groups, with Iran, Kazakhstan, Chinese Taipei, Iraq and Japan in Group A and Jordan, Lebanon, Philippines,  Qatar, and Syria in Group B. All but the last team from each group advance to the quarterfinals, eventually leading to the semi-finals, and the final game.

This tournament is not just some random tournament where all the Asian teams show-off their teams or get ready for the World Cup. The winners qualify automatically for the 2011 FIBA Asian Championship, which will also be hosted in Beirut, where the winner of that qualifies for the 2012 Olympics in London, while the top 5 teams will earn berths for their respective FIBA Asia sub zones.

From August 7 till August 11, round robin play will be taking place, where every team will have a one day break. Group A’s games will be at 3:00 PM and 5:00 PM, while Group B’s games will be at 7:00 PM and 9:00 PM, Beirut time, except for Day 1, where the hosts Lebanon will play the Philippines at 9:30 PM.

The opener will be Kazakhstan vs. Iraq, who hasn’t played since the 14th FIBA Asian Championship back in 1987, and the group stage play will end with the Lebanese playing Qatar.

After their successful run at the William Jones Cup in the Chinese Taipei in the past month, where Lebanon won all but one game and lost to the eventual champion Iran, the Lebanese seem to be receiving great news as their superstar Fadi El Khatib is back to training after he sustained an injury in addition to the fact that our country is hosting a major event since the FIBA Asia Champions Cup for clubs back in 1999 and 2000 which is a great thing as it will bring the fans to watch their national team play in their home country. Coach Tab Baldwin hopes that the Lebanese will play good basketball before anything else and then win the competition.

Looking forward to seeing all of our fans rooting for our country, as this is the warm ups for the World Cup!

Below is the schedule for the round robin play for the first 5 days of the tournament, taken off Fibaasia.net:

COMPETITION SCHEDULE
All times Beirut local (GMT +  0300 Hrs)
Date Match No Time Status White v/s Dark
07/08/2010 1 1500 PR – A Kazakhstan Iraq
07/08/2010 2 1700 PR – A Japan Ch. Taipei
07/08/2010 3 1900 PR – B Qatar Syria
07/08/2010 4 2130 PR – B Philippines Lebanon
08/08/2010 5 1500 PR – A I.R.Iran Japan
08/08/2010 6 1700 PR – A Ch. Taipei Kazakhstan
08/08/2010 7 1900 PR – B Jordan Qatar
08/08/2010 8 2100 PR – B Syria Philippines
09/08/2010 9 1500 PR – A Iraq Ch. Taipei
09/08/2010 10 1700 PR – A Kazakhstan I.R.Iran
09/08/2010 11 1900 PR – B Philippines Jordan
09/08/2010 12 2100 PR – B Lebanon Syria
10/08/2010 13 1500 PR – A Japan Kazakhstan
10/08/2010 14 1700 PR – A I.R.Iran Iraq
10/08/2010 15 1900 PR – B Qatar Philippines
10/08/2010 16 2100 PR – B Jordan Lebanon
11/08/2010 17 1500 PR – A Ch. Taipei I.R.Iran
11/08/2010 18 1700 PR – A Iraq Japan
11/08/2010 19 1900 PR – B Syria Jordan
11/08/2010 20 2100 PR – B Lebanon Qatar

When the FIFA World Cup first started, I thought there was something wrong with my TV. There was this constant noise in the background that was really annoying.

Then I found out online that it was the vuvuzela, which through the flow of air produces a loud monotone sound.  At the beginning there were a lot of complaints about the instrument, especially from TV viewers since they were unable to enjoy the game without that disturbing noise ringing in their ears constantly, as the vuvuzela has its own effects on the human health with leading to hearing loss if they constantly hear it.

Eventually, people got used to it (with channels like ESPN and BBC trying to minimize the sound behind the commentary) but it became a symbol of South African football.

Symbol of the 2010 World Cup for football.

But not basketball.

Basketball fans will not have to worry about the constant noise in the back as FIBA has banned the use of vuvuzelas at this year’s edition of the World Cup in Turkey, citing health reasons as a the main issue, and will confiscate them if brought to the game.

“We want fans to enjoy themselves and make lots of noise but not at the risk of spoiling it for others” said Patrick Baumann, FIBA Secretary-General and member of the International Olympic Committee.

Last time you see these vuvuzelas in a basketball court :)

Baumann also believes that the vuvuzela is not “appropriate in a confined space such as a basketball arena” and that medical experts believe the “decibel level and frequency can be harmful to hearing.”

The ban will be implemented in all FIBA indoors tournaments.

Finally, a sport that cares about its fans ;)


For the past 6 years, Lebanese have been known to be divisive because of politics. Many villages have constant feuds over a bunch of supposed politicians and you got brothers not talking to each other because two politicians can only get along under the table but not show it publicly, keeping the country in unrest.

But let’s put politics aside for once. This country unites under sports, and when our national team is playing basketball. all our differences are put aside and we root for one name: LEBANON.

Lebanese Basketball, Our Pride :D

As you all know, the FIBA World Cup is about to start in about 6 weeks,  and yes, Lebanon is making its third straight appearance.  It all started last year after our national team played in the Asia Championship and made it to the semis to face the Chinese national team. Our team always had this jinx against the Chinese, where due to major height differences and players that play in the NBA (Yao Ming, Wang Zhizhi, etc…), the Cedars could never beat the Chinese in the past.

So came the semis, and Lebanon was hanging in close against a Yao-less Chinese team and managed to get a lead in the last two minutes. Coming down to the last seconds, the game was tied and mysteriously, one of the Chinese players fakes getting fouled by our Roni Fahed and gets three undeserved free throws, leaving China to beat our national team by 3  points, making Lebanon’s chances for qualifying to the World Cup harder than ever since both teams that play the final automatically qualify. Yet they still had a chance if they beat Jordan in the bronze medal game, which they failed to do, as they lost an 80-66 to the Jordanians.

FIBA World Championships 2010 - Turkey

Despite all that, it still had a slight chance to qualify, by being awarded one of the 4 wild cards. FIBA awards a wild card to a country based on different criteria, such as playing in its Zone’s qualification tournament, popularity of basketball in country, success of country, and government support.

A fee of 500,000 € (approx $765,000) was paid to be eligible for a wild card spot. A few months later,

(yes, you guessed it right) Lebanon was awarded a wild card spot and earned its third consecutive berth in the FIBA world championship. I know, many Lebanese say it isn’t as big as football, but believe me, going to Turkey to watch your national team play in a world cup of a popular sport is HUGE.

Last month, however, conflicts emerged in the Lebanese Basketball Federation that led to the resignation of nine of the the thirteen board committee members with the FBL chief and its members calling each other names, including “mosquitoes”, “lacking loyalty”, and “having other agendas”, which led to the idea that Lebanon might not participate.

If the July War back in ’06 didn’t stop our national team from participating in a World Cup, conflicts among the federation members weren’t going to either. 21 players were invited to try-outs for the team, where 15 of them are playing in the 32nd edition of the Williams Jones Cup that is taking place in Taipei. So far, Lebanon is undefeated in its first two games, where it defeated Japan 87-82 in the first game on July 14th and Chinese Taipei 93-84 yesterday.

After its participation ends in Taipei, our national team will be going to play the Japanese team in the Japan Invitational Games in three different cities. Then, Beirut will be hosting the 3rd Stankovic Cup, which also includes Japan and Chinese Taipei, and others such as the Phillipines, Kazakhstan, Qatar, Iran, Iraq and Syria.

Its final stop before the World Cup will be one week before the main event, where the team will be going to Ankara to play in the 3rd Efes World Cup, and will play against the likes of Argentina, the host Turkey, and Canada before finally heading to Izmir for the World Championship.

Being placed in Group D with defending champs Spain, Argentina, France, Lithuania and New Zealand,  we have a very fragile chance of making the top 4 in order to qualify to the knock out stages. Yet no one expected Lebanon to win a game in the last World Cup, and despite that, we won the first game vs. Venezuela (ok, you might be saying “so what, it’s Venezuela) but then we beat FRANCE, which had at the time 5 NBA players, (what are you going to say now?) in one of this country’s most legendary wins in international play.

Our National Team Will Make Us Proud No Matter What!

The Lebanese team’s chances in this tournament are to go end somewhere in the middle between their first two participations, where they finished dead last in the first and were on the verge of making the 2nd round in the next. With our star Fadi El Khatub trying to get over nagging injury problems, our team will have to refer to the likes of star point guard Rony Fahed, Matt Freije and Jackson Vroman to take on this difficult challenge as the underdogs in this group and make some noise by surprising the world in making knock-out stages.

All I know is, that come August 28th, every Lebanese person that is capable of traveling to Izmir, Turkey should do so to cheer their country playing vs. Canada and show national pride, and if not, to tune to their TVs to watch our players raise the Lebanese flag high. After all, our country doesn’t play in a World Cup everyday, and you never know when the next time might be.

GO LEBANON!

The Lebanese National Team Roster (Not Final Yet):

Rony Fahed

Ali Mahmoud

Rodrigue Akl

Jean AbdelNour

Elie Estephane

Elie Roustom

Ahmad Ibrahim

Ghaleb Rida

Fadi El Khatib

Ali Fakhreddine

Roy Samaha

Ali Kanaan

William Pharis

Matt Frieje

Jackson Vroman

Head Coach: Tab Baldwin

Asst. Coach: Nikos Dimitriou