Lebanese Basketball League-Preview: Homenetmen vs Riyadi

23 Mar.2017– The mother of all battles is upon us, Homenetmen host Riyadi eyeing to upset Riyadi for the first time this season.

Homenetmen must be focused going into this game, although they are the league leaders, they still feel as underdogs in this one. They must not insist on playing the majority of the time from behind the arc. One of their biggest issues that lost them the game in Manara was taking those ill-advised threes. Yow Jackson, I’m especially talking to you man.

Jackson will have to be on top of his game on both ends of the floor, as he is guarding Ali Haidar. Ali has shown he can spread the defense as he is taking his 3point shots quite well, and driving the lane when possible. His great defensive abilities will cause Jackson some nightmares. Another player that has changed a lot since Dubai is Alade Aminu. Running up and down relentlessly, fighting for every rebound and slamming everything down, Aminu has been remarkable for his team. He faces Ater Majok in the best time as the latter doesn’t seem to be in the best of shapes. With recent talks that Homenetmen are looking for a replacement, who can blame him.

Talking about change, Riyadi have made a noticeable one. Acquiring Edgar Sosa might be the missing piece in the puzzle after Wael Arakji’s injury. I don’t think he’ll play tomorrow as keeping Branko, a player that knows the systems and the way his teammates operate, is better prior to this huge game. Branko will add size to Riyadi’s lineup as they face a huge Homenetmen starting 5. He can guard Nadim Souaid and try to deny him the ball. Nadim has been huge this season, shooting with high % from DT. As for Ken Brown, he will take on Kevin Galloway. Galloway being taller and stronger he might bully his way to the basket and play the post at some time as he allows Jackson to open up the floor as he moves to the arc. What Ken lacks in size he makes up for in speed. It’s important to hit Homentmen on the run and deny them the chance to play their run and gun offense.

Yet the most anticipated matchup is between Jean Abdel Nour and Fadi El Khatib. The unstoppable force meets the immovable object. Fadi has been on a rampage but Jean Shut him down last time they met. It’s personal now! As both these superstars battle on the floor, some young talents are making noise of their own. Elie Chamoun and Karam Mechref from the host team are playing the best basketball they ever played. As for the visitors, Joey Zalloum and Amir Saoud are stepping and more is awaited from them in this game. Counting on the bench is essential in a game that drains a lot of energy.