Fiba Asia 2012: Lebanon vs. Philippines

Well there you go. And the hits just keep on comin’.

– First thing I can’t help notice is just what an amazing talent Fadi El Khatib is. Playing 40 mins. he topscored his team with 24pts., 2 blks., 4 assists and 15 rebounds. The guy is big, quick on his feet, plays Point – Forward and shot 11/12 freethrows as well. I wondered at least 3x whether this guy was NBA material, but I figured he’s a little too slow and coaches might not like his finesse game. But boy does he know what to do with that ball, and he never looked tired to boot. If he’s available as an import PBA teams are well advised to check the guy out.

– Our shooting is downright horrendous and it has clearly destroyed our confidence. You’d never have thought guys like Fonacier would think twice before shooting, but that’s exactly what he did sometime in the middle of the game, and he even shot a brick to boot. Frankly like I’ve said in my previous posts, I really don’t have a problem with losing due to poor shooting. I mean, if you miss, you miss. There’s really nothing we can do. But we certainly can’t start hesitating. If you’re free, shoot that sucker. If you miss, the next one will go in. Just keep at it and they’ll start falling. Never doubt yourself.

– Lebanon is relatively easy to read. They don’t have good guards and their over reliance on Khatib, while he’s excellent, is predictable. When he was pressured early on breaks and forced to pass the ball things went our way pretty fast as it ended their fastbreaks and their devastating two man game with Thompson. That team is at least 2 or 3 players away from being really good, and Coach Chot called it right all the way when he started double teaming Khatib (which makes his 24 pt., 40 min performance so much more impressive. That guy never looked tired!).

– I caught a tweet re Douthit excited to practice freethrows after a horrible shooting night, and it continued today with only 5/8 or 63%. There’s no need to remind him how important these freethrows are so I won’t.

Overall the team looks ok. Dillinger is exciting to watch and Norwood changes the game with his very presence. LA Tenorio looks like he’s trying a little too hard, he should settle down and get back to his cool self like he was in Jones Cup. We still need to shoot and rebound better, two things that have always been our waterloos, and I’m starting to miss our internal passing which we did with consistency to great effect a few weeks ago. If we can just start shooting better I’d be more optimistic.