BEIRUT, Lebanon (4th FIBA Asia Cup): You can’t grudge Lebanon coach Ghassan Sarkis’ unenviable position. Even as the news that the talismanic Fadi El Khatib would be lead the team fortunes at the 4th FIBA Asia Cup starting in Tokyo (Japan) next Friday can sink in, comes the blow that the regular Lebanese center Ali Kanaan can’t make the trip to the Land of the Rising Sun.
Kanaan who has played a crucial role in all the Lebanese teams in international competitions in the recent past will not be available for the 4th FIBA Asia Cup out as he is with a knee injury that needs at least 15 days for treatment and the rehab process after that.
Ghassan Sarkis thus has to make do with moving the naturalized Garnett Thompson from his regular – and more comfortable – No 4 position or Nadim Hawe, who is making his maiden international appearance. Incidentally, both Thompson and Hawe played for Champville under Sarkis in the FLBB Division A League last season leading the Maristes-based club to their first ever title.
Lebanon, the winners of the 3rd FIBA Asia Stankovic Cup at Beirut (Lebanon) in 2010 when the FIBA Asia Cup was played under a different nomenclature are drawn with reigning FIBA Asia Championship winners China, SEABA champions Philippines, East Asia’s Macau and Central Asia’s Uzbekistan in Group A of the Prelim Round competition at the 4th FIBA Asia Cup.
Lebanon open their campaign with a game against Macau tipping off the proceedings for the event itself on Sept 14. Click here for complete schedule of 4th FIBA Asia Cup.