FIBA World Championship 2006 - Unofficial Blog

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Lebanon show their heart with victory over Venezuela

It is really emotional to see a nation like Lebanon put all their heart in order to achieve something important, despite the war they are suffering. Indeed, Joseph Vogel and Fadi El Khatib scored key baskets in the final minutes Saturday to help Lebanon beat 82-72 over Venezuela at the basketball world championships in Japan.

As we sai, Vogel gave Lebanon a 76-67 lead with a two-handed slam dunk with just over a minute remaining.

Khatib then score to put the game 78-72 with a pair of free throws and hit two more at the buzzer to give Lebanon a 10-point margin.

We must remember that Lebanon lost all five encounters and finished in last place at the 2002 world championships.

It's also good to say that Venezuela led 57-56 after the third quarter. Any chance they had for a comeback was spoiled when Oscar Torres' errant pass went out of bounds with Lebanon leading 77-72.

Khatib is one of the Middle East's best players. Two years ago, he unsuccessfully tried to get a release from his club team so he could play with the Los Angeles Clippers.

According to the experts, Lebanon, 26th in the FIBA rankings, is missing center Paul Khoury, who is stranded in Idaho with visa problems. Khoury returned to the United States after fighting between Israel and Hizbullah broke out in Lebanon.

In the schedule we can read that Lebanon's next game is against Argentina while Venezuela faces Nigeria on Sunday. Good luck for them.

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