The so-called Cedars are intensifying training these days ahead of the matches against Jordan (tomorrow) and Saudi Arabia (Sunday), scheduled for the Nouhad Nawfal Sports Complex in the city of Jounieh, north of this capital.
The Lebanese quintet led by Jad El Hayy will face this weekend with a sure ticket to the second round of the tie tied at seven units at the top of the key with Jordan, thanks to three smiles and a setback, one point ahead of Saudi Arabia (2-2) and three over Indonesia (0-4).
The Lebanese beat Indonesia in a pair of matches (96-38 and 110-6) and Saudi Arabia (81-68); meanwhile, they lost to Jordan (74-63) and will try to get even in this Friday’s duel.
The same players from the previous presentations repeat on the roster, especially the champions of the national league with the Beirut club: Sergio El Darwich, Elie Chamoun and Gerardo Hadidian.
So far, shooting guard El Darwich leads the team in total points with 52 and an average of 22.2 goals in four games to occupy eleventh position in the individual section of the tie, backed by an effectiveness of 66.7 in field goals.
Other names with prominence on the court for Lebanon are: Ali Haidar, fourth in free throws with an effectiveness of 85, 7 percent (14-12), Wael Arakji, seventh in three-point shooting with five shots in 10 attempts, and Ater Majok, eighth in rebounds with 33.
According to the qualifying system, the three best teams from each of the four groups will advance to the second stage, scheduled between August this year and February 2023.
The Asia and Oceania windows will allocate seven places to next year’s World Cup with Japan, the Philippines and Indonesia already secured as hosts.
A week after the end of the first round, Lebanon and the rest of the teams qualified for the second phase will cheer on the Asian Cup, scheduled for Jakarta from July 12 to 24.
jf / here