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El Khatib feels happy about World Cup Qualifiers draw results for Lebanon
"I am happy," he said. "The group is good for us, and I think we will lead the group."
Lebanese fans cheered on as they saw their beloved Cedars drawn in the same group as South Asia's top team India and two other West Asian sides, Syria and Jordan. The Jordanians are the highest ranked team in that group, but based on their latest results, Lebanon figure to be the deepest team when they are at full strength.
And with Lebanon securing the services of El Khatib - known as the Tiger - for the FIBA Asia Cup 2017 and the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 qualifiers, the Cedars certainly have a great shot at having a stellar showing in the first phase, which will be played in 2017 November, 2018 February and 2018 June. If Lebanon play true to form, they should finish atop their group and advance to Group E together with the best three teams of Group A (New Zealand, China, Korea, Hong Kong).
When El Khatib was asked about his reaction to the Draw and the competition they are set to face, especially in the second phase of the qualifiers, he was brimming with confidence.
"There are stronger national teams out there, but as I said before, we will show no fear," he declared. "With a well organized program and good chemistry, we can achieve our goals."
Lebanon open their campaign in the qualifiers hosting India on 23 November before heading to Amman to face Jordan on 26 November.
The top seven teams from the Asia Qualifiers will earn tickets to the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 that will be held in China.