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August 2021
El Khatib vs Madanly: Retracing the race for the FIBA Asia Cup 2007 scoring title
18/12/2019
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El Khatib vs Madanly: Retracing the race for the FIBA Asia Cup 2007 scoring title

BEIRUT (Lebanon) - There have been plenty of talented scorers to grace the courts of the FIBA Asia Cup over the past years. With the level of competition at the tournaments, it’s never easy to consistently racked up points game after game. Only a handful have been able to average of 20 points per game in a single tournament in these past two decades while only two players surpassed the 26 points per game mark.

It just so happened that those two players put their peak scoring performances on display the very same year at FIBA Asia Cup 2007.

On Your Marks

Michael Madanly had already established himself as a high-level scorer ever since his FIBA Asia Cup debut back in 2001. Madanly was boasting a 15.2 scoring average from 13 games heading into 2007, so it wasn’t as if he was an unknown scoring presence coming into the tournament for Syria.

That didn’t stop him from an explosion of 37 points against Chinese Taipei in Syria’s very first game, blowing away his previous personal Asia Cup-high of 30 points set back in 2001. The 1.92M (6’4”) guard did so without making a single three-pointer and knocking down only 3 of 8 free throw attempts. Instead, he did his work from inside the arc and made 63.0 percent of his 27 attempts.

 

Over in another group, Fadi El Khatib had started on a high note as well with 25 and 17 points, respectively, in his first two games. El Khatib himself had also already made a name for himself as one of the best in Asia, averaging over 20 points in his pervious two FIBA Asia Cup appearances in 2001 and 2005.

Maybe seeing Madanly almost go for 40 lit a fire in the “Lebanese Tiger” and two days after that happened, El Khatib poured the points on against UAE with 37 points of his own. This would also surpass his previous personal Asia Cup-high of 33 points which he set in 2005.

Doubling Down

It took only one day later for El Khatib to get the upper hand.

In Lebanon’s first game of the Quarterfinals against Qatar, El Khatib eclipsed his previous high and dropped 38 points en route to another crushing win. Though he made only 3 of his 10 three-point shots, Fadi got a bulk of his points from the free-throw line with 11 points from the charity stripe.

Madanly would have an immediate response the very next day.

Possibly out of frustration that Syria had lost their first 4 games, Madanly went off against Kuwait for 43 points. Then 26 years old, Madanly missed only 5 of his 20 attempts that day and with 11 points from the free-throw line recorded only the second 40-point game at that time in the FIBA Asia Cup since 2000.

The Final Stretch

El Khatib wouldn’t be able to match Madanly’s output for the rest of the Asia Cup. However, he did make it all the way to the title game and even scored 32 points along the way in the Semi-finals on Korea.

He would end up with the second highest scoring average in a single FIBA Asia Cup run ever since 2000 up to today at 27.3 points per game.

Madanly closed out his FIBA Asia Cup 2007 campaign on a tear, averaging 39.7 points in his last 3 games on a blistering 69.2 percent shooting from the field. He even went out of his way to drop another to put in another 40-piece against Indonesia in Syria’s last game.

Madanly’s glorious spitfire run resulted in a scoring average of 33.1 points per game, not only the highest in FIBA Asia Cup 2007 but in all Asia Cups played since 2000.

As a testament of how heated this scoring race was, El Khatib and Madanly combined for 8 of the top 11 single-game scoring outputs at the FIBA Asia Cup that year. 

Player

Michael Madanly

Fadi El Khatib

Game

Points

Opponent

Points

Opponent

1

37

TPE

25

KUW

2

27

HKG

17

JPN

3

16

KOR

37

UAE

4

33

PHI

38

QAT

5

43

KUW

28

TPE

6

36

IND

22

IRI

7

40

INA

32

KOR

8

 

 

19

IRI

Total Points

232

218

Average

33.1

27.2

Ranking

1st

2nd

 One More for the Road

After lengthy absences from the Asia Cup scene, El Khatib (then 38 years old) and Madanly (36 years old) were both back in the competition once again for their respective countries in Lebanon for the 2017 edition of the tournament.

And it was just like old times.

 

The two finished first and second as scoring leaders once again, this time with El Khatib on top at 25.9 points per game. The Lebanese legend even put on a nostalgic performance by scoring 36 on the Philippines.

Madanly had his own classic performance and hung up 35 points against China in a narrow loss.

 

There certainly were a number of unbelievable scorers to have racked up piles of points throughout Asia Cup history; Michael Madanly and Fadi El Khatib were surely among the best to ever do it without a doubt.

FIBA