By Daniel Faris
Preseason is over. I have been with my club team, Champville, for a couple of months preparing for FLB (Federation of Lebanese Basketball) regular season, and we’re off and rolling.
Several other teams in the league have been playing preseason tournaments inside and outside of Lebanon. No tournaments for us, but we have played several friendly games.
My team is projected to do well in the league this year, Inshallah (“God willing” in Arabic) we can gel as a team and find some success at the end of the year. We won our first official league game Oct. 21, beating Moutahed 68-55. They are a well-coached team and have a few solid players.
In the game against Mouttahed, the gym only sat a couple of hundred people max, but they have drums and loud chants to make it seem like a lot more. Since the gym is so small, fans can almost reach over and grab us from the stands. Add with the loud and rowdy spectators, it’s a tough environment.
After that, we beat Sagesse 99-71 before losing a tough one at Al Riyadi, 72-69. Our next game is Friday, Nov. 9, at Byblos.
We are tied for third in the nine-team league at 2-1. Al Riyadi is in first place at 3-0, and Homentmen Beirut is 2-0.
The Lebanese league takes a break from mid-November until the beginning of December. The reason is there will be another window of two official games for the national team. The two qualifying games count towards our chances of making the Fiba World Cup next summer.
We play at Korea and at China. Both teams are difficult to play, especially when you have to travel to their home courts. There will be a national team camp before these games for the team to get reacquainted with each other. Last few camps have been in Turkey and the Philippines. I’m excited to get official games going this weekend and get a few more stamps in my passport.
Former Lobo basketball player Daniel Faris plays professionally in Lebanon and is a staff writer with Enchantment Sports. If you have any tips, notes or just want to send Daniel your best, please email EnchantmentSportsNM@gmail.com.