|Host City: Kayseri|
|Host City: Istanbul|
|Host City: Ankara|
|5. Puerto Rico||1/4||6|
|6. Cote d'Ivoire||1/4||6|
|Host City: Izmir|
|3. New Zealand||3/2||8|
|#||Name||P||Height||DOB||Place Of Birth||Club|
|29/11/1983||Beirut, Lebanon||Sporting Al Riyadi, Div A (LIB)|
|06/06/1981||Laguna, USA||Mahram, Super League (IRI)|
|28/05/1983||Ottawa, Canada||Sporting Al Riyadi, Div A (LIB)|
|06/11/1981||Zouk Mikael, Lebanon||Club Sagesse, Div A (LIB)|
|02/05/1987||Chadra, Lebanon||Al Moutahed Tripoli, Div A (LIB)|
|20/07/1986||Ghosta, Lebanon||Champville, Div A (LIB)|
|01/12/1985||Beirut, Lebanon||University of Massachusetts, NCAA (USA)|
|30/09/1988||Zalk, Lebanon||Sporting Al Riyadi (JOR)|
|03/04/1983||Beirut, Lebanon||Sporting Al Riyadi (JOR)|
|02/10/1981||Bismarck, USA||Mets de Guaynabo, BSN (PUR)|
|10/07/1981||Nabatieh, Lebanon||Champville, Div A (LIB)|
|01/01/1979||Shheem, Lebanon||Champville, Div A (LIB)|
IZMIR (FIBA World Championship) - A disciplined 24-13 final quarter and the brilliance of stalwart Fadi El Khatib have delivered an emotional 81-71 victory over Canada in Izmir, which they celebrated with their vocal fans.
For much of the game Canada looked the better team, but a stunning second half display by El Khatib (31 points, 8 rebounds) and strong support from point guard Rony Fahed (17 points) and Matt Freije (12 points, 4/7 three pointers) allowed Lebanon to record their come-from-behind victory.
For Canada, Joel Anthony was a force inside with 17 points and 6 rebounds, and received support from Andy Rautins (10 points), Denham Brown (13 points) and Levon Kendall (11 rebounds).
Crucially, Lebanon restricted Anthony and Rautins, who were dominant in the first half, to just two field goal attempts in the final quarter.
Both teams promised to play quick and in the first quarter they delivered, thrilling the large crowd in Izmir. Rautins nailed two big three pointers early, which were answered in kind by Lebanon big man Matt Freije.
Canada broke free after quarter time and consecutive Anthony baskets gave them a 30-25 lead. But Lebanon answered to draw even to set the trend for the next two quarters.
Canada started the third term with a 7-1 run, but Lebanon answered immediately through back-to-back threes from El Khatib and Fahed, who visited with FIBATV.Com after the game.
Canada then responded with two of their own to take a 52-44 lead with 4:45 to play, but El Khatib would not let his team lie down, scoring at will near the basket on his way to 16 points for the quarter to bring Lebanon within one.
The last quarter was all Lebanon, who executed in the half court and coolly converted important free throws, leaving Canada coach Leo Rautins to lament his team shooting 2/9 from the perimeter in the final term and a 26-11 foul count.
Lebanon faces France tomorrow at 6:30pm, while Canada will regroup to take on Lithuania at 4pm.
Ali Mamoud (Player) : We had prepared very well physically and psychologically. We concentrated on the game. All victories are important for us, there has been four years since our last good performance but every victory has a different importance for us.
Tab Baldwin (Coach): We are happy. People don’t expect anything from teams like Lebanon. Basketball is universal sport and there are important players all over the world. Canada was a hard team. Fadi El Khatib played very well in the World and Asia Championships, he believes in himself and he is playing very well.
We defeated France four years ago. There are so many injured players but they are one of the best teams in the world. We will play our best against France.
Leo Rautins (Coach): It was a hard game for us. There were differences between two teams. We made so many turnovers. Lebanon scored so many points from free-throws. But now we will focus on tomorrow’s game. Lithuania is a good team. We need to be more aggressive.
|F. El Khatib||5||161||25/56||44.6||21/43||48.8||4/13||30.8||23/31||74.2||8||14||22||5||9||17||2||2||77|
|Min||Minutes played||Tot||Total rebounds||BS||Block Shots|
|%||Shooting percentage||PF||Personal fouls||G||Played Games|
Lebanon look to build on 2006 success
Lebanon stunned the world when they beat Venezuela and France at the 2006 FIBA World Championship in Japan. Now, with Tab Baldwin at the helm, they could be even more competitive and cause a few more upsets.
The preparation of the Cedar Trees has hardly been ideal for one reason or another but suffice to say that with Coach Tab Baldwin at the helm, anything is possible. Just don’t go writing off Lebanon since Baldwin has a good track record in this competition from his time with New Zealand when he moulded the un-fancied Tall Black team into a competitive unit who did their country proud by reaching the semi-finals in 2002.
This time, it could be even tougher for the play-caller. If nothing else because he has a lot to live up to after the terrific performances of Lebanon in 2006 when they notably beat Venezuela and claimed something of a legendary win against France.
To make it out of the first round will take a big effort and that means unity from everyone involved both on and off the court. For any underdog it seems the only way to achieve any form of success. Lebanon do have a shot at making some waves and at least Coach Baldwin will have an inside track for their clash with New Zealand.
With team leader Fadi El Khatib now looking like winning the battle to overcome his injury problems, there is likely to be less pressure on players such as Rony Fahed, Matt Freije and Jackson Vroman who would have to really step up if ‘The Tiger’ was sidelined.
Lebanon have a lot of passion and particularly in terms of their fans who will be hoping that their team competes at the kind of level they should. Expectations are generally under control amongst of the most knowledgeable and proud supporters in World Basketball for they are also aware that there are some new exciting players coming through to look forward to in the next few years.
The likes of Ahmad Ibrahim have excelled at youth level and he could be thrown into the mix although maybe this tournament could come too soon. However, he is just one reason why the future of Lebanese basketball should be bright. However you sense that it isn’t the raw, fresh-faced players who need to get the job done in Turkey.
Coach Baldwin is relying on the experienced players to really come up with the goods if they are to repeat their relative success in the last World Championship. Certainly they need to make sure they avoid the kind of performances that marred their appearance in 2002 when they failed to win a game.
Maybe this time, it is most likely the team will fall somewhere between their respective overall performances at the last two World Championships but as with both of those appearances, it will be tough – that much is an absolute certainty. They know they are playing against the best and every player needs to find top gear if they want to get some wins.
They are definitely capable of a big surprise and consequently you feel nobody will be taking them for granted – especially New Zealand with their knowledge of Baldwin and his capabilities as a coach.
|2007||FIBA Asia Championship for Men||2nd|
|2005||FIBA Asia Championship for Men||2nd|
|2001||Asian Championship for Men||2nd|
|Season||Competition||Last Achieved Round|
|2012||FIBA Asia U18 Championship for Men||Preliminary Round|
|2011||FIBA Asia U16 Championship for Men||Preliminary Round|
|2011||FIBA Asia Championship||Classification (5-8)|
|2010||FIBA Asia U18 Championship for Men||Quarter Finals|
|2010||FIBA World Championship||Preliminary Round|
|2009||FIBA Asia Championship for Men||Finals|
|2008||FIBA Asia U18 Championship for Men||Preliminary Round|
|2008||FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament for Men||Preliminary Round|
|2007||FIBA U19 World Championship for Men||Classification|
|2006||FIBA World Championship||Preliminary Round|
|2003||Asian Championship for Men||Finals|
|2002||World Championship for Men||Classification Round (13-16)|
|2000||Asian Championship for Junior Men||Classification|
|1999||Asian Championship for Men||Classification|
|1998||Asian Championship for Junior Men||Classification|
|1953||European Championship for Men||Classification Round II|
|1949||European Championship for Men||Final Round|
|15||Fadi El Khatib||F|
Head Coach: Tab BALDWIN