Lebanese Basketball League-Preview: Riyadi vs Homenetmen
08 Jan.2017- The biggest game of the season is here! Riyadi face Homenetmen to see who takes home bragging rights.
Homenetmen are going into this game with the upper hand having a 7-0 record as momentum shifts their way. Riyadi, on the other hand, have been dealt a big blow after losing a tough game against Mouttahed and may enter this game with a sense of being the underdogs. A sense they have not felt for quite some time in the league.
Both teams match up very well. Homenetmen fast tempo offense is faced with Riyadi’s fast defense and positioning. The addition of Ken Brown to the team might well be the missing link. Fast, great vision and good finishing, he can lift a lot of pressure of Wael who can now roam more freely on court. Nadim Souaid might have the task of guarding him as he can match his speed and use his experience not to fall in foul trouble early. As for Wael he might be going in a duel with Kevin Galloway. The later being taller and more physical, Wael might need help when Galloway decides to slash through the lanes. Better watch out for the open man, when help is coming, on the weak side.
As for the battle down low, the duo Aminu-Haidar might have a small advantage as they match up against Majok and Jackson. Majok is a good defensive player with great size and blocking abilities. But his partner is undersized and may have to help on couple of occasions when Haidar decides to play the post or when he takes the ball outside in. Riyadi must look for their big guys especially with Ismael Ahmad coming in off the bench to add to their low post activities.
While I don’t see Branko and Jean playing together from the beginning, coach Farran might have other ideas. If they do, they might lose some very much needed speed against Homenetmen’s run and gun offense with either Wael or Ken sitting on the bench. In return, this will increase their lineup’s size even more. With Jean probably taking on Fadi and vice versa, Branko may find himself with a mismatch. This might allow Cvetkovic to help on defense either in double teaming when Fadi gets the ball or when Jackson takes the ball outside and spreads the defense as this allows Ali Haidar to recover faster.
The bench today is a very important aspect of the game. With Amir coming on in any minute and change the course of the game with his shooting, Homenetmen’s lead is never safe. The visitors might counter this move with either Elie Chamoun or Karam Mechref coming in. Both known for their great defense and hustle, 2 ingredients vital today.