Monday, July 15, 2013
Lebanon Out of the FIBA Asia 2013 Tournament
Lebanon, one of the powerhouse teams in the upcoming FIBA Asia 2013 Tournament to be held in Manila, Philippines, was suspended by FIBA officials from the said tournament after failure to comply with the requirements set by the federation. This was confirmed last Saturday, which opens up a huge slot in the said tournament now that one of its powerhouse competitors had been taken out of the competition.
The report was confirmed via the Daily Star Lebanon due to a series of violations that the team failed to address. Among those violations include legal disputes amongst their players and 'political meddling with the matches'. The Youth and Sports Minister in Lebanon was also reached out for comment regarding the matter and he cited that "politics and sectarianism" ruined their chances of competing in this year's FIBA Asia tournament.
Before this controversial suspension, Lebanon was named as part of Group B wherein they are pitted against Japan, Hong Kong, and Qatar. Iraq will replace Lebanon's spot in Group B, as confirmed by FIBA Asia officials.
Three Lebanese players competing in the ongoing Jones Cup tournament were clearly devastated about this development. After all, the FIBA Asia tournament will serve as qualifier for the FIBA World Championship.
Meanwhile, the preparation continues for Smart Gilas Pilipinas for the upcoming FIBA Asia tournament set to take place from August 1 to 11, 2013. Head coach Chot Reyes recently confirmed the 12-man lineup for Smart Gilas Pilipinas competing for the tournament.