Lebanese Basketball Players Who Met the Expectations this Season
25 May. 2017 – Now that the Lebanese Basketball season has come to an end, some players were up to the expectations while other weren’t.
Let’s take a look on some players who impressed us.
Fadi El Khatib: A name that speaks for itself. He needs no introductions to describe what kind of player he is. Words fall short when it comes to him. Being the MVP in a league of imports says it all. Neither a double team nor a triple could stop Fadi from scoring his average of points and leading his team whenever they needed him. Putting his life and career in jeopardy and insisting on playing over his injury is enough to know that Tiger is a winner, and never a quitter. Seeing him crying in game 6 because he was not able to help his team win this title is enough to know how hungry the 13 time champion is. What a legend, a role model to all.
Jean Abdelnour: Talking about defense, the first player who comes to mind is none but the best defender in LBL history Jean Abdenour. Ain’t no player that he cant guard and stop. Leading his team in the finals to retain the title is what Abdelnour excels at. He runs the floor on both ends, doing whatever it takes for Riyadi to grab the win, caring less about his stats because after all Basketball is not only about stats. Keep it up Abdelnour.
Elie Rustom: Many were expecting a lot more from him in the beginning of the season. Indeed he had a shaky start at first, having Spencer and Curry on his side but as soon as his team needed him, he stepped up and pulled an incredible performance, especially in the final 4, averaging 10 points and 4 rebounds. Well, he is called the Lion heart for a reason. He fights and hustles whenever he sets a foot on court.
Ali Mezher: A young talent that has improved a lot in the last 2 years. Being a star in his team scoring 18 points coupled with 8 assists, Mezher proved that he deserves a spot in the National Team too. Now that he is leaving Hoops probably, every team is fighting for Ali’s signature. Let’s see how will Mezher shine with big teams.
Bassel Bawji: One of the top forwards in the league. He had a slow start in the beginning so did his team, but as soon as things started heating up, Bawji became the Bawji we all know. He is a plus to any team he plays for and can turn any pretenders to contenders.
Ali Haidar: Talking about Beast, no one but Haidar deserves this nickname. The best in his position, Ali Haidar showed everyone what the word champion means. Ali can easily play the post, and can kill with his crucial 3s from behind the arc. He led his team in the finals to protect their title, sacrificed every ounce of blood, sweat and tears to become what he is now. What a Beast!
Elie Chamoun: What can we say about this fighter? He doesn’t need 40 minutes to prove what he’s capable of. Whenever the coach calls him, he puts his heart and soul into this game. Chamoun does whatever it takes to help his team secure a win, whether with his killer 3s or with his defensive skills. He was Homenetmen’s hero especially in the finals with the absence of Fadi. He proved to play for the name on the front of the jersey, not the one on the back. Will we see him sharing the field with big names, for the National side this summer ?
Elie Stephan: Stephan, aka the Sniper, dragging 3s from everywhere, being a threat to every defender, Stephan made it rain this season and helped Louaize grab many decisive wins. He was the missing piece in their roster. His injury affected the team as they were one step away from making it to the final 4 for the first time. He’s one of the rare players who can give you on both ends. He proved all the doubters that he regained his level. Keep it up Sniper !
Ismail Ahmad: The word leader would be an underestimation. At the age of 40, Somaa playing like he’s still in his early 20s, whenever he enters the court, you know that things will look good for Riyadi, he never fails to drag them from dead. Like fine wine Somaa, like fine wine.
Jad Khalil: In a world full of point guards, Jad Khalil proved that he can handle pressure and deserved his spot with the National Team. He was Tadamon’s MVP and is definitely the best rising talent and an amazing prospect for the future.
Wael Arakji: As we say the icing of the cake, the Lebanese Dragic proved himself not only on the national level, but the international level too. Our leftie point guard’s size gives him an edge over every player in his position, in addition to his speed and skills. Unfortunately, he was not able to continue the season with Riyadi due to a shoulder injury and his absence was highly noticed. Not a single import was able to fill his place. However, his hard work and dedication helped him recover sooner than expected. He has that Mamba mentality that will take him very far.
Finally, we can’t but thank Omar Turk who has just retired for his efforts with the National Team and for his positive vibes.
This season was exceptional, we saw players fight, cry, argue, laugh.. but they will all be united this summer, under the Lebanese Colors. Basketball is more than a game, it is a passion.
Congratulations Riyadi for retaining your title. The transfer window will definitely be on fire this summer.