BEIRUT, Lebanon (4th FIBA Asia Cup): If you draw up a list of basketball players who had give up anything to play for their National flag, talismanic Lebanese star Fadi El Khatib’s name will figure right on top.
Sources in the Lebanese Basketball Federation put to rest the uncertainties of the 33-year-old shooting guard’s participation at the 4th FIBA Asia Cup to be played in Tokyo (Japan) from Sept 14-22 by confirming that the Champville superstar will indeed don the NT colors.
Lebanon, the winners of the previous edition of the competition in its earlier nomenclature – 3rd FIBA Asia Stankovic Cup at Beirut (Lebanon) in 2010 – are drawn with China, Philippines, Macau and Uzbekistan in Group A of the Prelim Round competition. Lebanon will tip off the proceedings for the competition with a game against Macau. Click here for complete schedule of 4th FIBA Asia Cup.
It will also mark the first time that Fadi El Khatib will play for the Lebanese NT in a FIBA Asia competition for the first time almost two years – the last one coming at the 3rd FIBA Asia Stankovic Cup – having given the 26th FIBA Asia Championship at Wuhan (China) in 2011 a skip due to personal reasons.
In between, however, El Khatib played for Lebanese club Al Riyadi Beirut at the 22nd FIBA Asia Champions Cup at Manila (Philippines) in 2011 leading the Manara club to their first ever title triumph at the competition with averages of 21.0 points per game pouring in a colossal 41 points in the gold medal game against Iran’s Mahram.
In between El Khatib had been busy leading Champville to their maiden title in the high-profile Lebanese Division ‘A’ League.
Needless to mention, El Khatib played a pivotal role in helping Lebanon clinch the WABA Championship after a four year gap at the 12th edition of the competition at Amman (Jordan) in June this year to qualify for the 4th FIBA Asia Cup.
Welcome to the party ‘Tiger’!