The United Arab Emirates will replace Lebanon in the 2013 FIBA-Asia Men’s Basketball Championship which starts Aug. 1 at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
Lebanon was suspended by FIBA and barred from the tournament. Lebanon’s spot was offered to Iraq, but FIBA-Asia said in its website that Iraq, which finished fourth in the Western Asia Qualifying tournament held in Tehran, Iran last February, begged off due to lack of preparation.
UAE, ranked no. 63 in the FIBA-Asia ranking, had been given the slot.
But a story in Lebanon’s Daily Star said the FIBA will decide Monday (Tuesday Manila time) whether to lift the suspension of Lebanon after it resolved the squables that divided its basketball organization.
Lebanese national team skipper 6’7 El-khatib Fadi expressed optimism the world basketball governing body will restore Lebanon’s membership and allowed them to play in Manila edition.
The Lebanese team is scheduled to arrive in Manila this week to resume training for the tourney, where they finished second in 2001, 2005 and 2007.