Lebanese Basketball League- Preview : Riyadi VS Byblos

18 Dec.2016– Byblos fall heavy visitors today in Manara as they hope to continue their unbeatable streak.

Riyadi’s shaky start has pushed coach Subotic out of the club and many questions are being asked. Can coach Farran take over and be the right man at the right place? A shock that can wake the beast sleeping in Beirut.

Byblos on the other hand, have been enjoying their basketball. Game after game they have shown to have the right formula capable of taking them far this season. The addition of Rodrigue Akl was a major boost. Akl is back again playing beautiful basketball. He’s the engine that Riyadi should extinguish to break up Byblos’ play. Wael Arakji is the man for the job. Fast, athletic and with the determination to turn this season around this guy is a threat when he runs the floor and can finish smoothly with the left as well as finding his teammates.

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The Beiruti team have to look out for Clay Tucker. He’s the best 3 point shooter in our league till now with 18 threes. With a percentage close to 50%, you better not leave him open. But don’t get too close because he can slash through the lane and finish at the rim. Coach Farran may assign Branko the task of limiting him. Branko has not shown us even half of what he did last year. Maybe a fresh start today? If Branko can’t handle the heat, Jean Abed El Nour is ready to step up at any time.

More than one player in Riyadi needs a fresh start as Ali Haidar is far from being the same Ali we saw in the past couple of years. He will have the chance to prove his worth against Ali Kanaan and Joe Abi Kheres. 2 adversaries that can play physical ball and take outside shots. A good matchup for Haidar as he plays similar basketball. Down low Ndudi Ebi may have a tough task of guarding Riyadi’s tower, Alade Aminu. A fierce battle to watch between 2 athletic centers that don’t play the usual stuff we usually see from Big Guys. No bumping and pushing rather jumping and flushing.

The most anticipated matchup may be between Jay Youngblood and Jahmar Young. This might be the last chance for Young to prove that he belongs in Riyadi and to manifest he is a class A defender. Jay is one of the best scorers in the league and will cause him many headaches. Talking about scorers, Riyadi have one of their own rusting on the bench. Amir Saoud can surely be a game changer if given the right role. A possible starter in any other team, he is arguably the best Lebanese shooter. Just give him a chance.