MANILA, Philippines – They say Father Time is undefeated, but Fadi El Khatib is giving him a run for his money.
Against a Mighty Sports Philippines squad led by former NBA players Andray Blatche and Renaldo Balkman, the 40-year-old Lebanese legend erupted for 30 points in a staggering 37 out of 40 minutes on the floor in an 82-88 loss at the 31st Dubai International Basketball Championship.
On paper, El Khatib’s backpacking effort on Friday, January 24, is already impressive in itself. That is, until you take a closer look on whom he matched up against. (READ: Mighty survives El Khatib eruption for Dubai opener win)
For brief moments in the 2nd quarter, the 23-year pro baller was matched up against the young Dave Ildefonso, whom El Khatib even blew past by on the fastbreak for a layup around halfway through the period.
Interestingly, Dave was not the first Ildefonso El Khatib faced in his career.
Exactly 20 years ago, a then springy 20-year-old El Khatib was invited to play in the 2000 PBA All-Star Game against none other than Dave’s father, the legendary Danny Ildefonso.
Although El Khatib teamed up with other Asian Basketball Confederation (ABC) stars like Rommel Adducul, the 2000 PBA All-Star squad coached by Tim Cone breezed past them with a 101-81 win.
Johnny Abarrientos was named the game’s MVP, ahead of other legends like Ildefonso, Alvin Patrimonio and Kenneth Duremdes.
Fast-forward to the present, and El Khatib is still schooling the young bloods in local and international competitions, with no signs of slowing down.
He even retired from the Lebanese national team on a high note, averaging a tournament-best 25.9 points per game in the 2017 FIBA Asia Cup.
There, the “Lebanese Tiger” notably erupted for 36 points, 8 assists and 6 rebounds on a 10-of-19 shooting in a 106-87 classification round win against Gilas Pilipinas.
This just goes to show that age is really just a number, even in the world of basketball. – Rappler.com