Lebanon defeats Canada 81-71 at basketball world championships


Fadi El Khatib , known to his countrymen as “The Tiger, scored 31 points and Rony Fahed added 17 as Lebanon beat Canada 81-71 Saturday in the opening round of the basketball world championshipsin in Izmir, Turkey on Saturday Aug. 28, 2010.

In the third quarter, the 6-foot-6 El Khatib scored 16 points, making all five field goal attempts and three free throw attempts.

“It was a very tough very tough game,” Fahed said. “Both teams were playing very physical.”

Matt Freije(notes) nailed a 3-pointer to put Lebanon up 66-64 with about 5 minutes left, and Canada never led again.

“For our team to be successful, we cannot be out-hustled in a game,” Canada coach Leo Rautins said.

Joel Anthony(notes) of the Miami Heat scored 10 of 17 points for Canada in the first half. Denham Brown added 13 points and 6 assists.

Lebanon, which is making its third consecutive worlds appearance, shot 21 more free throw attempts than Canada.

Canada hadn’t qualified for a major tournament since finishing 13th at the 2002 worlds in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Lebanon’s next Group D opponent is France. Canada plays Lithuania, which beat New Zealand in its opener. AP

Lebanon team pose for a photograph before their game against Canada at FIBA Basketball World Championship in Izmir August 28, 2010.
Lebanon's Fadi El Khatib (L) and Matt Freije (R) defend Canada's Denham Brown during their FIBA Basketball World Championship game in Izmir August 28, 2010.