FIBA World Cup

Gilas Pilipinas tormentor Wael Arakji sends Lebanon to FIBA World Cup

Delfin Dioquino
Gilas Pilipinas tormentor Wael Arakji sends Lebanon to FIBA World Cup

QUALIFIED. Wael Arakji and Lebanon accomplish another remarkable feat after winning silver in the FIBA Asia Cup.


Wael Arakji and Lebanon punch their FIBA World Cup ticket, joining five other teams which have already qualified for the global hoops showdown

MANILA, Philippines – For the first time in more than a decade, Lebanon will see action in the FIBA World Cup.

Lebanon punched its ticket to the global hoops showdown next year after cruising to a 95-63 mauling of India in the fourth window of the World Cup Asian Qualifiers on Monday, August 29.

Waek Arakji, the hero in the Cedars’ 85-81 win over Gilas Pilipinas, delivered another steady performance with 17 points on a perfect 5-of-5 shooting as Lebanon reached the World Cup for the first time since 2010.

During the 2010 edition, the Cedars qualified for World Cup after being awarded a wild card spot by FIBA.

But Lebanon – fresh from a silver finish in the recent FIBA Asia Cup – had full control of its fate this time as it hiked its record to 5-1 in Group E to become the fourth team from Asia-Pacific to advance to the World Cup.

New Zealand also booked its World Cup berth as it stayed unbeaten in Group E with a 6-0 record after 100-72 romp of Jordan on Monday.

Seven World Cup spots are allotted to Asia-Pacific, with the two already occupied by co-hosts Philippines and Japan.

On the other side of the world, Ivory Coast and Finland clinched their World Cup seats as well.

Ivory Coast became the first African team to qualify with a perfect 7-0 card, while Finland – which totes a 7-1 slate – earned the distinction as the first European squad to advance to the World Cup.

A total of 32 teams will compete in the quadrennial showpiece, which the Philippines and Japan will co-host with Indonesia in August next year. –

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Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.