19 December, 2022
25 May, 2023
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''The more we play high-level competition, the more we will grow'' says Beirut Club's Ali Haidar

BEIRUT (Lebanon) - Ali Haidar is fresh coming off an outstanding performance representing Lebanon on the national team at the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 Asian Qualifiers. The national team and Haidar are high on confidence, bringing joy to the faithful and passionate fans in Lebanon.

“It would be nice to add the first WASL championship to the list.” - Ali Haidar

 The 32-year-old has always been proud to “rep the flag” and will get the chance to do so once again as a part of the Beirut Club team that will be playing in the inaugural WASL West Asia season.

“It's always an honor and pleasure to be a Lebanese player and be able to represent Lebanon in international competitions,” said Haidar.

Beirut Club were drawn into Group A, setting them up against Al Ittihad from Syria, Orthodox Ramallah from Palestine, and ZobAhan from Iran.

This inaugural season will progress in the Group Stage with all teams in the same group playing against each other in a home-and-away format. At the end of the Group Stage, the first-place teams in each group will advance directly to the Semi-Finals. The second- and third-place teams will crossover to play in the Qualification to Semi-Finals match-ups.

The matchups alone between these teams are already interesting, but the settings of the competition also adds more intrigue for all of the fans, teams and even players.

“As players, we always look for new challenges and new achievements to add to our own accolades,” said Haidar.

“It would be nice to add the first WASL championship to the list.”

To achieve that, Beirut Club will have to go through the teams listed above who are already championship-caliber teams from their respective domestic leagues. This means that the competition won’t be easy, even if Beirut Club are the reigning champions of the Lebanon Basketball League back at home.

However, going up against these teams in different countries - especially when Beirut club travels for the away games - shouldn’t bother Haidar so much. The veteran star has more than familiar playing in foreign environments, whether it’s playing for the national team of playing for professional clubs in foreign leagues.

As a matter of fact, Haidar even see the opportunity of playing in WASL as a friendly gathering in a way.

“Most of the players across all those teams participating are friends of mine because I played in most of the countries that are being represented in WASL. So being able to play against them is always nice,” he said.

And, of course, from direct experience to which Haidar’s current level of play can attest, these high-level games in foreign settings can boost the development of those involved. That is also something that Haidar hopes to experience in these upcoming games.

“This high-level competition is an amazing experience for us as players and team. It will help us keep getting better and better. The more we play high-level competition, the more we will grow as a team.”