Archive for August, 2010


In the first bye day for Groups C and D, teams from the first 2 groups played their third consecutive game in as many days, with USA and Argentina remaining perfect despite the former being pushed to the brink by oversized Brazil, while Angola was easy for the Argentinians. Serbia bounced back from that double overtime loss while Germany couldn’t continue its winning ways by falling to Australia. Iran found its first win, keeping Tunisia winless and Slovenia held off Croatia at the end for its second win.

The Americans started the game expecting a tough challenge from the Brazilian side, and as they expected, the Brazilians were firing on all cylinders and managed to stay on top for the first quarter making 12 of their first 16 shots with the help of NBA star Leandro Barbosa. The Americans never really got into the game until the third quarter, where they finished up by 2 points. The 4th quarter was easily the worst scoring quarter in this World Cup, with both teams being unable to exceed the 9 point limit and each commited several turnovers and made crucial defensive stops. In the end, the score was 70-68 USA’s way, and Brazil’s Marcelo Huertas got fouled with 3 seconds left. He didn’t make the first and missed the second on purpose, catching his own rebound and passed it to Barbosa, who missed the last shot, keeping the Americans perfect while ensuring that if their big man Anderson Varejao is back, Brazil will be tougher than ever on the American team. Kevin Durant had 27 points in 39 1/2 minutes for the U.S. with Chauncey Billups’ 15 points while Leandro Barbosa had 14 points for Brazil.

Serbia took note of what went wrong in their double overtime loss to Germany and came out strong on the Jordanians, handing them their third straight loss 112 – 69 with Dusko Savanovic and Marko Keselj having 21 points eachand Kosta Perovic’s 20 points while Jordanian Omar Daghles had 19 points as his team yet has to win a game.

Germany couldn’t form a winning streak as Australia manhandled them with a lack of focus displayed by the Germans, losing their game 78-43, with the Aussies dominating the game from start to end, never trailing after a German 2-0. Patrick Mills led the Australians with 16 points and 7 asssists, while  Robin Benzing had 11 points for Germany.

Other Results:

Angola 70 – 91 Argentina

Slovenia 91 – Croatia 84

Tunisia 58 – Iran 71


I don’t know if you’ve managed to see this yet but the Lebanese advertisement world finally has a fantastic final product airing on the local TV stations, and it comes in the form of an ad for Bank Audi’s Loubani Card, which and taking into consideration my limited knowledge in the banking world, is a card that solely uses the Lebanese Lira as its working currency.

So what strikes me the most about this ad, developed by Leo Burnett, is the archive footage they were able to retrieve of well-known places like the American University of Beirut (AUB), the infamous Saint Georges Hotel and Yacht Club, the teleferique, the tramway in Sehet El Burj (that’s now known as DT if you want to get all modernized), and the now demolished Carlton Hotel (which is expected to be transformed to, you guessed it, high-rise, wildly-expensive apartment buildings!)

Though its only an approximately one minute ad, I’m sure it’s impact is going to be long-lasting, especially that it gives the older generations a chance to remember the good old days, and remind us “newbies” of what we’re single-handily destroying.

Enjoy! 😀


The second day of the basketball’s version of the World Cup continued with all teams playing, as Argentina, Brazil, France, Greece, Lithuania, Turkey, and the USA are perfect while Canada, Iran, Ivory Coast, Jordan, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, and Tunisia are still searching for their first wins.

After outplaying Canada in their first game, Lebanon played France, who delivered an upset to the defending champs Spain a day before. The game was very close at the beginning, with both teams being uable to take control of the first quarter as it ended 22-20 for France. The second quarter was a completely different story, as France jumped on a 12-2 run before the game had to be stopped at the middle of that quarter in order to fix the basket that France’s Nicholas Batum dunked on. After more than 15 minutes of hiatus, the game resumed and Lebanon was held to only 8 points in that quarter, giving France a 42-28 lead at halftime. Jackson Vroman’s efforts in the third quarter weren’t enough to bring Lebanon closer as France’s bigs throughout the game dominated the boards and the inside game, frustrating the Lebanese, in addition to several referee errors that costed Lebanon important breaks to get back into the game, giving France an 86-59 win as both teams will have a bye day and will not play until Tuesday. Jackson Vroman had 19 points for Lebanon, with Matt Freije scoring 9 of his 11 points in the first 5:32 minutes, and Fadi El Khatib’s scoring production going down from the first game to 12 points. Meanwhile, France’s scoring was equally spread among its players, as Mickael Gelabale continued his great start in the tournament, leading France with 18 points, helped by Alain Koffi’s 17, Ian Mahimni’s 14 points and and 9 rebounds and Nando de Colo’s 14 points.

USA continued its strong start as a contender for the title, by defeating Slovenia 99-77 after having another great start for the game and managing to stay in control for the entire game. Yet the game’s score shouldn’t fool the audience, as the Americans believe that they aren’t fully ready yet. When star Kevin Durant was pulled out of the game in the 2nd quarter, the Slovenians managed to climb back in the game until he was reinserted later on. In 22 minutes only, Durant led his team with 22 points, and was helped with Rudy Gay’s 16 points and Kevin Love’s 10 points and 11 rebounds in 13 minutes. Bostjan Nachbar had 13 for Slovenia.

The longest game to yet take place in this World Cup was a double overtime game between Serbia and Germany, where the Germans managed to win their first game, as they are missing Dallas Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki, 82-81. Germany seemed to be on top for most of the game and even at the end, yet Serbia’s Aleksander Radic knocked down two three pointers in the final seconds to tie the game at 69 and enter OT #1. The first OT was really sloppy and defensive on both sides, as German guard Steffen Hamann scored Germany’s 4 points at the beginning, only to be tied by a 3 pointer and free throw with a minute left, to enter second OT tied at 73. The second overtime was a completely different story for the Germans, who managed to get a good lead and hung on till the final possesion for the first win. Jan-Hendrik Jagla had 22 points for Germany, while Kosta Perovic had 2o for Serbia.

Other results:

Jordan 65 – 79 Angola

Argentina 74 – 72 Australia

Croatia 75 – Iran 54

Brazil 80 – 65 Iran

China 83 – 73 Ivory Coast

Puerto Rico 80 – 83 Greece

Turkey 65 – 56 Russia

Lithuania 70 – 68 Canada

Spain 101 – New Zealand 84


Fadi EL KHATIB(LABANON).JPGThe FIBA World Championships in Turkey began  with all 24 teams playing their first game, some were very close games, other were blowouts, and some even included impressive comebacks.

At 6:30 PM, Lebanon played its first game against Canada, with the Lebanese jumping to an early lead and finishing the first quarter strong, yet the middle was dominated by Canada, which led to a 20-20 tie at the end of the 1st. Canada managed to dominate the second quarter with Lebanon trying to come back numerous times, yet unlike the first quarter, the first half ended with Canada leading 37-34. The Canadians managed to increase their lead throughout the 3rd quarter to as much as 9 points, yet Lebanon’s “Tiger” Fadi El Khatib had other plans in mind, erupting for 16 points in the third quarter on perfect 5 for 5 shooting from the field to bring the lead down to 1 point. The 4th quarter was played out like the end of the third, Lebanese dominance from all sides and El Khatib and Rony Fahed taking over to win the 4th quarter 24-13, eventually winning the game 81-71, giving Lebanon its first World Cup win since the upset of France in ’06. El Khatib had a marvelous game with a game-high 31 points and 8 rebounds, helped by Rony Fahed’s 17 points and Matt Freije’s 12 points, all three pointers while Canda was led by Joel Anthony’s 17 points, Denham Brown’s 13 points and Andy Rautins 10 points, mostly in the first quarter.

The major upset of the night however also came in Group D, with defending champs Spain and France clashing off after Lebanon’s game. Spain started the game strong, limiting the French only to 9 points in the first quarter and it seemed that the Spainards had the game in hand, only for French Mickael Gelabale to spark a 14-5 run assisted by Andrew Albicy and Nicolas Batum, who took on the second half scoring 12 of his 14 points to give France a lead it would never relinquish, shocking the champs with a 72-66 win. Gelabale had 16 points and 6 rebounds for France, helped by Albicy’s 13 points. Spain was led by Juan Carlos Navarro’s 17 points and Rudy Fernandez’s 13 points, whose technical foul and defensive errors were major in costing Spain the game.

Unlike the two previously mentioned games, USA had it easy going, defeating the young Croatians 106-78 behind a strong second quarter that held Croatia to only 6 points and outscored them by 20 points. Eric Gordon, one of the players who weren’t expected to make the final roster, led the Americans off the bench with 16 points, and had Kevin Durant help him with 14 points, as well as Chauncey Billups’ 13 points and having Russell Westbrook and Rudy Gay contribute with 10 apiece. Croatia’s good first quarter was not enough to keep it hanging in there with Team USA, as Bojan Bogdanovich’s 17 points were not enough to pose a challenge for the Americans.

Other results include:

Australia 76 – 75 Jordan

Angola 44 – 94 Serbia

Germany 74 – 78 Argentina

Tunisia 56 – 80 Slovenia

Iran 65 – 81 Brazil

Greece 89 – 81 China

Russia 75 – 66 Puerto Rico

Ivory Coast 47 – 86 Turkey

New Zealand 79 – 92 Lithuania


Less than 6 hours before tip-off, Lebanon will play its first game in its third consecutive appearance at the FIBA World Championships against Canada. This will be the second time these teams play each other after Canada smashed Lebanon in the position games in the 2002 Worlds.

However, things are different this time, as Canada has not improved much while Lebanon embarked on a major recovery from the last-place finish in the 2002 championship, as Lebanon defeated Venezuela and France yet was unable to qualify for the second round due to the point differential factor. Lebanon is predicted by ESPN.com as the second weakest team in Group D with only New Zealand weaker than them. Yet in Efes Pilsner World Cup, which is a warm up for the biggest FIBA competition, Lebanon played Canada in each’s last game and managed to score an 88-76 win, with Jackson Vromann and Matt Freije shining in the win in addition to the help provided by Fadi El Khatib and Rony Fahed. Lebanon also lost its first two games, the first in a hard fought game to group competitiors Argentina 89-82 and were swept by Turkey 93-72.

Although it may look hard, yet Lebanon seems to have a better chance than even to get out of the first round, as losses to defending champs Spain, Lithuania, and Argentina are expectable, which leaves them two games against New Zealand and Canada, both beatable teams and would be more than enough for Lebanon to make it to the Round of 16.

Below can be seen the roster of Team Lebanon and its schedule in the round robin play.

Go Lebanon!

Team Lebanon Schedule:

Saturday, August 28, 2010/ 6:30 PM: Lebanon vs. Canada

Sunday, August 29, 2010/ 6:30 PM: Lebanon vs. France

Tuesday, August 31, 2010/ 4:00 PM: Lebanon vs. New Zealand

Wednesday, September 1, 2010/6:30 PM: Lebanon vs. Spain

Thursday, September 2, 2010/6:30 PM: Lebanon vs. Lithuania

TEAM LEBANON ROSTER:

JEAN ABDEL NOUR

JACKSON VROMAN

ALI MAHMOUD

RONY FAHED

ELIE RUSTOM

ELIE ESTPHANE

ALI KANAAN

RODRIGUE AKL

ALI FAKHREDDINE

MATT FREIJE

GHALEB REDA

FADI EL KHATIB

 


Needing no introduction of any sort, Bon Jovi, the band that introduced the talk box into modern music dictionaries and produced songs such as “Living on a Prayer” which have become the theme to many people’s lives, have a new album out entitled “The Circle.”

The Circle (Bon Jovi album)

Album Cover

Their eleventh studio album marks their return back to their hard-rock roots, after their previous effort “Lost Highway” was heavily influenced by country sounds. To many, it does not completely sound like Bon Jovi of yesteryear, yet after a careful listen to all the tracks, it is evident that the spark and love for music that propelled the band to stardom in the first place has remained intact, even after 25 years of being on the scene. On this album, the boys from Jersey truly come to a full-circle.

The powerful first single “We Weren’t Born to Follow” kicks off the album with an inspiring message and a heavy musical arrangement. The infusion of successive drum beats, guitar arrangements, and Jon Bonjovi’s signature vocals propel the song forward and the listener may surprisingly find himself singing along from the first time.

“When We Were Beautiful” follows, and while the listener may think the band are slowing things down a bit too early on the album, the song is a far cry from being a sappy ballad. It is a song that chronicles what the group has been through in their music careers and what they have learned from that journey. The thought-provoking lyrics are sung to one the best guitar riffs of the entire album, courtesy of Ritchie Sambora.

The rock-anthem of “The Circle” comes in the form of “Work for the Working Man” which is an attestment to the working class, a recurring theme for Bon Jovi. The chant-along style and the easy lyrics are bound to get instant attention. (more…)


Beirut's Central District (or DT)

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what makes a place a home. Is it having an actual house where you can keep all your things and return to at night? Is it the place where you loved ones live? Is it where in every corner, there’s a fragment of a childhood memory hidden? Is it the place you have a love-hate relationship with? Or better yet, is the place where your ID says you belong to? If the answer is yes to all of these questions, then in my case, I have two homes. Beirut, a city I can never be away from for long, and Jeddah, a city that has always been kind to me, even if I have not felt the same way about it.

To look at it from one perspective, the two cities could not be any more different. Beirut is vibrant, loud, and fast-paced. Beirut is a historical city that is eager to shed this image in favor of evoking comparisons with the greatest cities of the world. Beirut, the charismatic city, is losing its charm, while it’s citizens look on.

Jeddah is not. Jeddah moves at it’s own pace, not caring how anyone views it, never-changing unless it is out of necessity. Jeddah is intriguing. It’s many secrets are well-concealed beneath a dark veil, that even someone who has spent the majority of his live in the city is unable to completely grasp them. (more…)