BEIRUT

Basketball

Lebanon handed tough draw for 2014 World Championship

Teams and groups are drawn and paired up in Manila.

BEIRUT: Lebanon have been handed a tricky draw for the 2013 FIBA Asia Championship as the Cedars will face Qatar, Japan and Hong Kong in Group B of the preliminary stages.

Defending champions China were drawn in Pool C – group of death – alongside Iran, South Korea and a qualifier yet to be determined from SEABA.

Hosts Philippines formed Pool B together with last edition’s runners-up Jordan, Chinese Taipei and Saudi Arabia, while Pool D includes Kazakhstan, Bahrain, India and a qualifier yet to be determined from SEABA.

The draw was conducted under the Pure Draw system using two bowls, where boxes with names of 15 teams were put into one bowl and boxes with names of the group into another. A team was paired up with the group that was drawn from the other box.

Teams will carry over their win-loss records into the second round, except for their records against the eliminated teams, and play only contenders that aren’t from their original assigned groups.

The top four from each group then move on to play in the eight-team crossover knockout quarterfinals.

The 27th FIBA Asia Championship, which will also be the qualifying event for the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup, will be held from Aug. 1-11 at Manila.

The top three teams from Manila will all directly qualify for the biggest basketball event in the world.

This is the third time Manila will host the event, but they were last hosts of the Championship 40 years ago.

The Cedars, who have made it to the World Championship three consecutive times, have been hindered by the recent crisis in Lebanese basketball when the league was halted during the semifinals phase.

The national team have yet to begin their preparations for the tournament, and nothing has been done regarding the issue of recruiting and naturalizing a foreign player.

Additionally, it remains unclear whether or not Julian Khazzouh will be available for selection, as the governing body continues to operate without a preparation plan.

It will be a difficult task for the Cedars to make it to the world’s elite tournament for the fourth time in a row despite a wealth of talent, with team captain Fadi al-Khatib withdrawing from the squad for family reasons.

 

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