(UPDATE: On Thursday, Lebanon beat China 92-88. Unfortunately, Faris reported “I banged up my knee against China. (On Saturday) it was responding well to treatment, and has improved from yesterday but is still swollen. I still don’t know if I can play on Monday against New Zealand.”
— Obviously, Enchantment Sports is pulling our good friend, Daniel, and hopes he gets healed and helps the Lebanese get off to a 2-0 start.)
By Daniel Faris
Enchantment Sports Staff Writer
BEIRUT, Lebanon — Time to put up or shut up.
I’ve been out of the states for almost a month now, and training with the Lebanese national team has been going well. The whole team is working hard.
We got a little pre-test last week in Turkey (first time there for me, really cool place FYI). The team had three scrimmage games – against Morocco, Tunisia, and Cameroon. What a great opportunity for everyone to get some live game action with each other!
The big test is tonight (Sept 13), when we play China in Lebanon.
It would be an understatement to say that people in Lebanon are excited. From what I hear it should be sold out! If you read my first article, then you’re well aware of how passionate these fans in Lebanon are. I love it.
The game against China is big because we need to win a few more games to qualify for the World Cup next summer. Wish us luck, but this isn’t the end of our test.
After the game tonight, our team flies directly to New Zealand to play New Zealand (they’re also in our qualifying group for World Cup). It’s safe to say that game will not be easy either, especially when you factor in 18 hours of travel right after a difficult game. But I’m truly excited to get the opportunity to play against great competition and see a new part of the world I haven’t been to.
I’m hoping we go 2-0 in these two games, which would set us up nicely for the next qualifying stage in November.
I’m missing my family like crazy, but I’m also trying to work my tail off to help the team in any way they need me. I know I’m very blessed to have the privilege to play basketball and compete with great competition.
Basketball doesn’t last forever, so wish me luck as the road to World Cup 2019 continues for myself and Lebanon.
Daniel Faris is a former Eldorado High and New Mexico Lobo basketball star who is playing professionally in Lebanon. Daniel will write occasional stories on former Lobo athletes, as well as keeping Enchantment Sports fans updated on his year with the Lebanese national team. For tips or comments to Daniel, please email EnchantmentsportsNM@gmail.com.