(The Daily Star/Sako Yeretsian)
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Sports in general, and basketball in particular, constitute a missed opportunity for Lebanon to gain international recognition, due to rampant sectarianism, political meddling and chaotic, often violent games, according to an expert.Friday the team received the cup at its home stadium, Al-Manara.The final pitted Riyadi against longtime rival Sagesse, wrapping up one of Lebanon's most competitive basketball seasons ever. In response, Sagesse fans hurled bottles onto the court, striking Riyadi Secretary-General Mazen Tabbara in the head, forcing Riyadi and its entourage to leave the stadium.The 1995-96 and 2012-13 seasons were suspended due to political conflicts.Reiche attributes the fans' fanaticism to the funding structures of clubs. He described it as a "patron-client" relationship. Lebanon's miniscule TV market and small stadiums mean revenues are unable to cover teams' expenses.The very players bickering on the court are called on to form the national team.
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