IT’S not Iraq but United Arab Emirates that will replace the suspended Lebanon in the forthcoming 2013 FIBA-Asia Men’s Basketball Championship on August 1 to 11 at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
A FIBA-Asia announcement on its website declared that Iraq, which finished fourth in the Western Asia Qualifying tournament held in Tehran, Iran in February, opted not to participate because of lack of preparation; the slot then goes to UAE, currently no. 63 in the FIBA-Asia rankings.
However, Lebanon’s Daily Star reported that the Fédération Internationale de Basketball (FIBA) would decide on Monday (Tuesday in Manila) whether to lift Lebanon’s suspension after receiving report that the country has already resolved the squabble that divided its basketball organization.
Meanwhile, Lebanon’s national team skipper 6’7 El-khatib Fadi expressed optimism.
That the FIBA would restore his country’s status as member so they can play in the Manila edition of the tourney. The Lebanese team is scheduled to arrive in Manila this week to resume training for the meet, where they finished second in 2001, 2005 and 2007.