Lebanon national basketball team


Lebanon national basketball team

Infobox national basketball team
country=Lebanon
country_alt=لبنان
color1=bb0000
color2=ffffff
joined_fiba=1947
fiba_zone=FIBA Asia
national_fed=Lebanese Basketball Federation
coach=Dragan Raca
oly_appearances=None
wc_appearances=2
zone_championship=Asian Championship
zone_appearances=5
zone_medals="Silver": 2001, 2005, 2007
h_body=ffffff
h_pattern_b=_redsides
a_body=bb0000
a_pattern_b=_whitesides3
a_shorts=bb0000
fiba_ranking=24th

The Lebanon national basketball team is the basketball side that represents Lebanon in international competitions.

They finished second place in the FIBA Asia Championship three times (2001, 2005 and 2007), losing twice in the final to China and once to Iran, respectively. They participated in the 2006 FIBA World Championship in Japan, the second time they qualified for the tournament (First was in 2002). During that tournament, they managed to beat France and Venezuela but lost to Serbia and Montenegro, Nigeria and Argentina in the first round, finishing in 5th place out of the six to be eliminated.

The tournament was considered a success mainly because of the political problems Lebanon is having lately. Lebanon's 74-73 victory over France was considered the upset of the tournamentFact|date=July 2007. Fadi El Khatib was the 7th best scorer in the tournament, averaging 18 points per game. His performances in the World Championship affected his team's status because in Lebanon's victories El Khatib averaged 32 points per game, but in Lebanon's defeats El Khatib averaged 10 points per game.

Lebanon's roster includes Jean Abdel-Nour,Mazen Mneimneh, Hussein Tawbe, Ali Mahmoud, Rony Fahed, Omar Turk, Brian Beshara, Bassem Balaa, Joe Vogel, Ali Fakhreddine, Roy Samaha, Fadi El Khatib. The Head Coach is Dragan Raca.

History

The first time basketball was ever played in Lebanon was in the mid-Twenties in the American University of Beirut. Gabi Arbaji was the first to prepare a basketball playground in Tabaris area, where the early college competitions were held.

In 1939 the first college championship was organized and the finals opposed the Makassed team to the AUB and ended with a major victory to Makassed with a score of (33 - 11). The Lebanese Basketball Federation was jointly founded later in 1949 along with the Lebanese Volleyball Federation. The Lebanese made their debut in the European championship tournaments with Eurobasket 1949, held in Cairo, Egypt. They lost all six of their games in the seven team round robin tournament, finishing in 7th and last place.

The refusal of the Soviet Union to host the competition and FIBA Europe's unwillingness to ask Czechoslovakia to host consecutive tournaments meant that 1947 bronze medallist Egypt hosted the competition. Due to travel difficulties and fears, few European teams would travel to the African country to compete. Lebanon, as well as Syria, were asked to compete in the European championship despite being Asian countries. Lebanon played in the European competition again at Eurobasket 1953 in Moscow. They lost all four of their preliminary round, including one by forfeit as the team refused to play against Israel. The team was able to defeat Sweden in the first classification round, giving them their first Eurobasket win. They placed 4th in their five-team group, advancing to the 13-16 classification games. They lost the first 58-56 to West Germany, but won against Denmark 74-40 to take 15th place of the 17 teams.

The two federations broke up and the first independent Lebanese Basketball Federation was founded in 1955. This plan was already organized by the year 1951. The Lebanese Basketball Championship was formed back then, and went into action till Lebanese civil war. In this period before the war, Sporting Al Riyadi Beirut team had the biggest number of trophees.

After the war in 1993, the 1st championship was organized under the era of Tony Khoury who stood in the Federation for many years; from that time the media started to have a bigger interest in this game. In late 1996, a new Federation was formed with Antoin Chartier as a president, at that time the Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation sponsored the game and is still till nowadays.

In Late 1999, new Elections were made and a new group came to the federation on their head Jean Hammam with a big target in his mind to reach to higher levels on the clubs and national teams competitions. The new federation started to work on the national teams for men, women , junior Men.

FIBA World Championship record

* 2002 FIBA World Championship: 16th
* 2006 FIBA World Championship: 18th

Current Squad

Guards:
*Rony Fahed: 1.83 m
*Ali Mahmoud: 1.78 cm
*Fadi El Khatib "(also forward)": 1.96 m
*Jean Abdel Nour: 1.97 m
*Mazen Mneimneh: 1.92 m
*Omar El Turk: 1.84 m

Forwards:
*Bassem Balaa: 1.98 m
*Brian Anthony Beshara Feghali: 2.05 m

Centers:
*Roy Samaha: 2.05 m
*Ali Fakhr El Din: 2.02 m
*Hussein Tawbe: 1.98 m
*Joe Vogel: 2.11 m

Rosters

1949 EuroBasket: finished 7th among 7 teams

1953 EuroBasket: finished 15th among 17 teams

Ahmed Idlibi, Christo Georgio, Maurice Nasr, Elie Homsi, Shawki Rababeh, Naim Barakat, Saadeddine Itani, Vartkes Alahaidoian, Jean Diarbekirian, Khalil Mekkawi, Georges Estephan (Coach: Ahon Kadian)

2002 World Championship: finished 16th among 16 teams

Fadi el-Khatib, Joe Vogel, Roy Samaha, Ghazi el-Boustani, Elie Mchantaf, Paul Khouri, Rony Fahed, Georges Chibani, Charles Bardawil, Yasser el-Hajj, Walid Doumiati, Badr Makki (Coach: John Neumann)

2006 World Championship: finished 18th among 24 teams

Fadi el-Khatib, Joe Vogel, Roy Samaha, Omar Turk, Sabah Khoury, Jean Abdelnour, Bassem Balaa, Rony Fahed, Brian Beshara, Hussein Tawbe, Ali Toufic Mahmoud, Ali Jawdat Fakhreddine (Coach: Paul Coughter)

External links

* [http://www.internationalbasketball.com/lebanon2006.html International Basketball.com: Lebanon Basketball 2006]
* [http://www.asia-basket.com/leb/leb.asp?NewsNo=21 AsiaBasket.com: Lebanese National Teams preparations - July 7, 2006]
* [http://yalibnan.com/site/archives/2005/09/lebanon_roll_in.php Ya Libnan: Lebanon rolls into Basketball Championship Semifinals, 15 September, 2005]
* [http://www.flbb.com/]


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