The Lebanese national basketball team started their first friendly match of King Abdullah II tournament held in the Jordanian capital of Amman by winning over their Bahraini counterpart with a score of 72-64.
The match, which would be the first in the round one of preparation for the Asian Cup 2021 qualifications, took place on Monday, February 11th, in the afternoon.
The Lebanese coach Joe Moujaes included all the players of the national team in the match, knowing that the Lebanon and Bahrain teams will meet officially on February 24th at the “Nihad Nawfal Complex” stadium in the Asian Cup qualifiers, which will be held in the year 2021.
The Lebanese national team will also meet its Syrian counterpart on Wednesday at 5:00 pm and its Iraqi counterpart on Thursday, February 13th at 7:00 pm. The last matches of the tournament will end with a match against host Jordan on February 14th at 7:00 pm.
The King Abdullah II tournament is scheduled two weeks before the beginning of the first official rounds of the Asian Cup 2021 qualifiers. It is considered a friendly tournament to prepare the teams for the Asian Cup qualifications. The participating countries are Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Bahrain, and Iraq.
Coach Joe Moujaes said that he counted on this tournament as he believes it will be an opportunity to prepare the team, even for a short period, as well as train the players for the bigger matches to be played at the end of February.
Coach Moujaes also believes that the tournament will help him find the players competent enough to enter the qualifying rounds, especially since Lebanon is scheduled to be playing against Bahrain and Iraq, which they will also be facing in the playoffs.
Currently, ten players are training with the Lebanese national team: Eli Rostom (captain), Ali Mansour, Ali Mizhar, Joseph Shartouni, Elie Chamoun, Aziz Abdel-Massih, Karim Zeinoun, Patrick Bou Abboud, Karim Ezzeddine, and Gerard Hadidian.
It is noteworthy to mention that the trio stars of the Lebanese basketball team Wael Arakji, Ali Haider and Watir Majok will be joining the team at the start of the qualifiers.