Lebanese Basketball League-Preview: Mouttahed vs Sagesse

10 Jan.2017– After a crucial win against Riyadi, Mouttahed wish to down another Beiruti team when they host Sagesse.

In a neck to neck game, and after being down by as much as 11 in the 3rd, Mouttahed showed resilience and enthusiasm and got the win in the dying seconds against the defending champions. An essential part of the game for any team who wants to challenge for the title is never giving up and fighting till the last seconds.

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Now against a rejuvenated Sagesse, Mouttahed must continue this fighting mentality, not to allow Stoglin and co to play their own style of game. When he is in his zone, Stoglin is an unstoppable scoring machine. He is in a league of his won. The trick is to isolate him from his teammates, a full-court pressure, playing hard defense and physical proved a good idea to frustrate him. The same kind of defense Louaize played and won them the game. Elie Rustom and even Ralph Akl are capable of doing that. But even then he might score 40, but you must try to stop him.

Under the rim, we are expecting a huge battle between Charles Tabet/Denzel Bowles and Ivan Johnson/Todd Obrien (as I don’t expect seeing Leather in this game). Mouttahed must take advantage of Sagesse’s poor rebounding and boxing-out. A problem that coach Fouad should handle if wishes to progress further in the season. To limit second chances, Patrick Bou Abboud is a must as he proved to have great timing and positioning on the rebound. As for Bowles, he is a promising signing but we’ll wait for his first game to be able to evaluate him.

Sagesse’s biggest problem will be stopping Dewarick Spencer and Ramel Curry. Their slow defense and bad rotation will give both Spencer and Curry a lot of space to function. Sabah Khoury, Georges Bayrouthy and even Mohammad Ibrahim can rotate in defending both these deadly snipers. The latter two playing great defense against Tadamon.

Both teams are demanding more from their role players. From Sagesse’s standpoint more is required from Bashir Ammoury and Georges-Yves Daaboul. Daaboul had good performances in his last couple games and as the season goes on they hope he gets even better. As for Mouttahed, they pray that absent Omar Ayoubi gets his groove back, he is not even half the player he used to be. Let’s hope things get better for him as his team needs him a lot in upcoming stages.