Posts Tagged ‘Jordan’

I saw this Nike ad that LeBron James made recently. I got to admit, Nike are working really hard on making LeBron James look good again, since he did damage his “brand” after that horrible ESPN special he had in July. You do not ditch your hometown team on national TV and expect to get away with it. Tiger Woods might be wondering why didn’t Nike call him instead.

This is one of the first ads that I actually found interesting, and I feel that a lot of people can connect to it, not just LeBron James or any basketball player. Any person can ask himself or other people this question. In this case, LeBron is asking what should he do; should he admit what he did was wrong, should he remind us he did it before, should he believe he ruined his legacy, or should he take the role of the villain?

In this ad, LeBron just seems to be answering the critics by asking meaningful questions. Questions that people have been asking all summer long. Why did LeBron do this? Why did LeBron leave Cleveland? Is it because of the money? I don’t think so, because Cleveland could offer him more. Is it because of the rings? I think so, but isn’t that going to tarnish his legacy? He’ll never be mentioned in the same breath as his idol Michael Jordan. Hell, I don’t think he should be compared to Kobe even.

I personally think he made the wrong decision, and I wanted him to stay with Cleveland. But again, maybe we wanted James to be loyal. Maybe we wanted him to be the Superman of his team, not Robin to Dwayne Wade’s Batman. Maybe we thought he could be better than Mike, and all be witnesses to the greatest.

He doesn’t seem to be or think so. He doesn’t want to be who we want him to be.

He wants to be who he wants to be.

And he wants more thing:

A question to be answered:

What should I do?

In the last day of the group stage play for the 3rd FIBA Asia Stankovic Cup  taking place in Ghazeer, Lebanon, the host Lebanese national team is the only unbeaten team in this tourney after defeating previously unbeaten Qatar and topped Group B, facing Kazakhstan in the quarterfinals. Japan topped Group A and avoided all possible confusions of qualifying by beating Iraq, hence knocking them out. Syria was the lone team from Group B not to qualify as well; unlike Iraq, it lost all its games, recently to the World Cup-bound Jordan, who hasn’t won a game before in the tourney. Meanwhile, the battle for the second position in Group A ended with Iran walking all over the Chinese Taipei. How did all this happen? Who faces whom in the quarterfinals on Friday?

In the last game of round robin play, the clash of the unbeaten teams took place between the hosts Lebanon and Qatar. The storyline of the game was the same for the first twenty minutes, as Lebanon would jump to a six or seven point lead, then Qatar would catch back up. Eventually, by the end of the third quarter, both teams were tied, and with Lebanese Jackson Vroman’s free throw at the end, the game was tied at 65 and entered overtime. Yet once again, Fadi El Khatib, 18 points,  had 6 of Lebanon’s 12 points in OT, to give the Lebanese team their fourth straight win and top Group B to face Kazakhstan, who had a bye day today. Targuy Ngombo had a game high with 26 points, but was not enough to prevent the Qataris from receiving their first loss in the tournament and will have to face the Chinese Taipei in the quarterfinals.

In other Group B action, unlike the former clash mentioned, this was a battle of the teams that have not won a game yet between Syria and Jordan, which ended in favor of the World Cup-bound team 78-66. Both teams were on a three game losing streak, including Syria having to forfeit the Lebanon game due to the chants by the Lebanese crowd. The game was in Jordanian control from start to finish, with the lead reaching as much as 21 points due to the help of Ayman Idais (29 points, 12 rebounds) and Wisam Al Sous (21 points). With this win, Jordan finished fourth in its group, enough to help it qualify to the quarterfinals to face Group A winners Japan. Meanwhile, Michel Madanly’s 19 points, 10 rebounds and 7 assists were not enough for the Syrian team to win a game and crack the quarterfinals, hence ending a disappointing journey in this edition of the Stankovic Cup.

In Group A, things were slight more complicated, as no team won all its games nor lost all its games and all had a chance to make or break. Japan played Iraq in a game where if Japan won, it would top Group A, otherwise it would give Iraq a chance to qualify. Yet let’s not confuse ourselves about this, because Japan did what the other three teams in the group wanted: win the game. Like Jordan did against Syria, Japan dominated the game from the beginning and never really Iraq a chance to get into the flow of the game after jumping to a 15-4 lead, eventually winning the game 87-72. Kosuke Takeuchi had a game high 26 points, 10 from the free throw line. and 17 rebounds for the winners, while Mustafa Hamazeh had 15 points for the Iraqi team, who ended their first tournament in 23  years with a legendary OT win over Iran the day before.

The other crucial matchup that took place was between Iran and Chinese Taipei, where both teams were playing to win as they weren’t guaranteed a spot in the quarterfinals. The game turned out to be anything but crucial, as Iran ended a close first half on a high note and led the way in the second half by as much as 26 points, only to win 86-67 to take second place in Group A and face the Philippines in the quarterfinals, while the Chinese Taipei will have to deal with Qatar. Asghar Kardoust had a game high 24 points along with 11 rebounds, while teammates Ali Baheran (2o points, 5 assists) and Moosa Nabipoor (13 points, 18 rebounds) were also effective in this win. Meanwhile, Chen Shun-hsiang’s 13 points weren’t enough to avoid the Qatari team in the next round.

Quarterfinals Schedule (Friday August 13th):

12:00 PM: Iraq – Syria (Classification 9th-10th place)

2:00 PM:  Iran – Philippines

4:00 PM:  Qatar – Chinese Taipei

6:00 PM: Lebanon – Kazakhstan

8:00 PM: Japan – Jordan

As the championship gets closer to the knock out rounds, the good teams are starting to show apart from the not so good teams. For instance, the hosts Lebanon and Qatar are doing so well in this tournament, they haven’t lost a game yet. Tomorrow’s clash of them could make this a preview to the tournament’s final. Meanwhile, Jordan hasn’t won a game yet, while Iran’s win in the first game suddenly seems a fluke.  Also, unlike Group B, if Iran and Iraq win their matchups tomorrow, all 5 teams would be tied with identical records, 2 wins and 2 losses.What’s going on?

In Day 4’s main event, the Lebanese national team played the defending champs Jordan, where both teams are going to represent Asia in this edition of the FIBA World Championship taking place in Turkey starting August 28. Coming into the tournament, this matchup was previewed to go Jordan’s way, given how they beaten the Lebanese twice in the last FIBA Asia Championship and managed to snatch the bronze medal to qualify automatically for the World Cup while Lebanon had to be awarded a Wild Card. Yet things were different tonight, as the game was miserable free throw-wise and three point-wise, Lebanon dominated the first quarter with the excellent play of Jackson Vroman ( 20 points, 6 rebounds). Jordan responded in the second quarter to bring the game back to a 31-31 tie at the end of the first half. However, Fadi El Khatib had something else in mind, as the Lebanese superstar started to prove that he is shrugging off his injury by scoring six of his thirteen points in the third quarter and drawing most of the attention to bring other players back into the game, creating an eight point advantage by the end of the third and eventually winning the game 63-54. The Jordanian team was horrible offensively, as they had no one in double digit scoring and made a mere 33% of their shots, with Zaid Abbas being their best player with 9 points and 9 rebounds. Jordan will face Syria tomorrow as the winner will advance to face the winner of Group A in the 1/4 finals. If Jordan wins or loses by less than 25 points tomorrow, it will qualify; otherwise, Syria will qualify as fourth.

In the most lopsided game to take place so far, Japan manhandled Kazakhstan 100-57, where it broke the game wide open in the second quarter and kept its foot on the gas throughout the entire game. Takuya Kawamura and Ken Takeda led Japan with 19 points, who have to win their last game against Iraq tomorrow in order to guarantee a berth in the quarterfinals.

Iraq continued to improve its performances game after game, this time achieving an overtime win, 81-77, over Iran, giving itself a shot to qualify for the quarterfinals while making things harder for Iran. Trailing the entire game by as much as 19 and through mid the fourth quarter by 17, the Iraqis went on a rampage and ended the regular time on a 21-4 run and won overtime 16 – 12 with the help of Mohammad Mahdi, 3 of his 16 points forcing overtime, and Omar Ismaerl, 17 points and 8 rebounds. Mohammad Hassanzadeh had 17 points for Iran.

Qatar continues its way of seeking perfecting by defeating the Philippines 66-61, after ending the 1st quarter on a 14-0 run. Qatar stayed in control the entire game but saw its lead slip away slowly and eventually reaching 5 points by the end of the game. Targuy Ngombo was once again The Man for Qatar, scoring a game-high 29 points and grabbing 9 rebounds. Saeed Ali had a good all around game, with 12 rebounds, 7 points and 6 assists. Philippines didn’t have a Ngombo, as their highest scorers were Marclo Lassiter and Christopher Tiu with 11 points apiece.

Qualification to 1/4 finals guaranteed:

Group A: Kazakhstan

Group B: Lebanon – Qatar – Philippines

Standings in Group B:

1- Kazakhstan: 2-2 / -35

2- Japan:             2-1/ +42

3-Ch. Taipei:   2-1/ +22

4- Iran:               1-2/ -13

5- Iraq:               1-2/ -16



Since the opener of the FIBA Asia Stankovic Cup, a lot of things have changed. All teams who lost their debuts haven’t lost since, such as the Philippines and Chinese Taipei, while other teams won their first games and are still winning, Lebanon and Kazakhstan.

The hosts Lebanon remained perfect in the competition, and did not need to break a sweat as Syria refused to play the game, hence losing its third game in a row while giving the Lebanese their second win with a score of 20-0. However, the Syrian team will be punished for this as they will not receive the group point that the team gets if defeated, hence making its chances to qualify very difficult, with its last game against defending champs Jordan, also winless until now.

Day 3 started in a very exciting way with an exciting game with a come-from-behind 86-77 win for the Chinese Taipei over Iraq. The Chinese Taipei started the first half strong and finished the first half leading by 11 points. Yet the Iraqi team wouldn’t sit quiet, and proved that despite their 23 year absence, they can play any team and went on 30-7 quarter, ending it with a 23-0 run. Yet it seemed the Iraqi team ran out of gas and could no longer run, as a solid effort by Mohammad Majdi, 27 points and 10 rebounds, was not enough to keep Iraq on top, leaving Taipei to come back into the game for once and for all and win their second game in three tries. Chen Shih-nien led an excellent team effort for the Taipei with 16 points, with Chien Chia-hung having a good all-around game with 14 points, 8 assists, 5 steals and 4 rebounds. The Chinese Taipei will be facing Iran on the last day of group play while Iraq will play Iran tomorrow.

Kazakhstan achieved its second straight win in the tournament by surprisingly defeating Iran 80 -67. Kazakhstan was in control from the beginning and never let go, with the lead reaching as much as 22 points. Dmitry Gavrilov was once again The Man for Kazakhstan, leading them with 22 points and 11 rebounds with the help of Vassily Savchenko’s 20 points. Iran, fielding their reserve team as they get ready for the World Cup, were led by Mohammad Hassanzadeh’s 20 points in a losing effort.

In a game that was changing hands frequently, the Philippines proved that their first win wasn’t a fluke as they came back from a not-so-good first half to beat the defending champs Jordan, handing them their second loss 75-71. Marnel Baracel led the Philippines with 16 points, with help form his teammates, Pauliasi Taulava’s 13 points and 12 rebounds and Christopher Tiu’s 13 points while Rashem Wright had 17 points for the Jordanians in the loss.

Sorry for the late post. Due to personal reasons, it had to come out a bit late. Cheers 🙂


Day 2 of the Stankovic Cup was an eventful one, which started off with a close game between Iran and Japan. Despite bringing its B team to the tournament while their starters get ready for the worlds,  Iran held off a Japanese rally to win its first game 72 – 68. After trailing by as much as 14 points through the second quarter, Japan fired back in the second half to get as close as 2 points by the end of the third, only to let the game slip away from them and give Iran a successful start in the tournament. Iran had 5 players in double digit scoring, led by Asghar Kardoust’s 14 points and 13 rebounds and Aren Davoudichegani’s 14 points. Saeed Karakani also had a solid all-around game with 11 points, 6 rebounds, game-high 6 assists and 3 steals. Takumi Ishizaki led Japan with 20 points and had only one other player score above ten points, with Kosuke Takeuchi scoring 17. Japan will attempt for its second win on Wednesday versus Kazakhstan, who will face Iran tomorrow.

The Chinese Taipei rebounded back from their first loss to secure a win against the young Kazakhstan team with an 80-64 win. Taipei started the game strong and looked to sweep the game until Kazakhstan bounced back and were trailing by a point through mid 3rd quarter, only for Taipei to finish that quarter strong and increase their lead to as much as 18.  Chia-en Mao led the winners with 22 points, who will face Iraq tomorrow, while Dmitry Gavrilov scored 14 points and collected 11 rebounds for Kazakhstan.

Battle of the champs of the previous editions of this cup took place today as the 2004 champs Qatar also held on to beat 2008 champs Jordan for a measly 63-59 win. Once again, Targuy Ngombo was the man for the winners as he erupted for a game high 24 points. Qatar started off strong and led by 14 at halftime and looked to have the game in hand, only for the Jordanians, like Kazakhstan earlier in the day, to rally back and managed to stay close to the end. Enver Soobskov had 14 points for Jordan and no help from the rest of his teammates. Qatar will rest tomorrow while Jordan will play the Philippines.

In the last game of the day, the Philippines bounced back from a miserable performance against Lebanon to secure their first win of the tourney against Syria, who are still searching for their first win after losing to Qatar. The Syrians started the game strong and led by as much as 13 points in the first half, only for the Philippines to come