Through his Twitter account, the President of the Lebanese Republic, Michel Aoun, congratulated the Cedars team for their return to the international elite after securing the seventh win in eight starts in the qualifying window in Asia and Oceania.
The president praised the will, ambition and strength of the national quintet that, under the direction of coach Jad El Hayy, secured its fourth World Cup presentation after attending the 2002, 2006 and 2010 editions.
Lebanon’s victory against India was combined with the Philippines’ smile 84-46 over Saudi Arabia, as members of group E of the second round of the regional qualifying match.
In the southern city of Bangalore, power forward Jonathan Arledge and point guard Wael Arakji led the Lebanese victory by adding 21 and 15 points, respectively; meanwhile, Karim Raphael Ezzedine led the game under the boards with five rebounds.
Collectively, the continental runners-up at Jakarta 2022 posted an ERA of 62.1 from the field, 65.2 from three-point shooting and just 57.1 from the free throw line, to beat India in their first home game four years later.
On the other side, Pranav Prince continues to excel for India and recorded 19 goals, a personal best at national team level.
In addition to Lebanon secured a place in next year’s competition, the New Zealand squad beat Jordan 100-72 and remained undefeated in six appearances.
As hosts, the Philippines and Japan are qualified and with the quota of Lebanon and New Zealand only four places remain in dispute for the region in the absence of the windows of November this year and February 2023.
Lebanon is ranked 54th in the International Federation ranking and in three previous World Cup participations it has accumulated three wins and 13 failures.