Lebanese Basketball League – Preview: Mayrouba vs Mouttahed
Despite being 9th in the league, Mayrouba holds the same number of wins as Champville & Sagesse. Another one today would put them ahead of both in 7th place. On the other hand, Mouttahed has a 4-4 record so far, coming off 2 wins against Riyadi & Sagesse. Should they win today, it would put them ahead of Tadamon and maybe tied with Louaize in 4th, and in 5th place should the latter lose their game against Hoops.
In this game, Mouttahed’s big guys will have to hustle the giant Robert Upshaw out of the paint, because that’s his comfort zone and it will be hard to stop him without a foul. He’s also a beast on defense, so cutting to the basket won’t be easy as he’s got an average of 3.87 blocks per game.
The foreigners trio in Mouttahed will have to be at their best in terms of scoring and try to draw fouls from Upshaw to make him more soft on defense. Coach Abaz will also be counting on Ralf Akl to enter the game at any time and change the tempo, especially with his recent exceptional performances. Meanwhile, Elie Rustom & Omar Ayyoubi will surely have a major defensive job in that game against Emmanuel Jones who dropped 28 points and 8 rebounds against Tadamon.
Jones will, as a matter of fact, be the X factor for Mayrouba. He demonstrated huge scoring abilities in his debut and he could as well repeat the antics at home. Isiah Umipig will also have to handle the ball well, like he did in the last game. He finished with 7 assists and not a single turnover! Costy Koudsy had his best game this season against Tadamon and will hope to repeat the performance because Mouttahed are way more dangerous.
To conclude, the visitors are surely favorites going into that game, but it’s all about hustle at the end and the momentum could shift towards any team during the game. Good luck to both!