The FIBA Asia Champions Cup for men’s club is ready to embark on the 22nd of September. The tournament is taking place in Chenzhou and will last till September 30.
FIBA Asia Champions Cup was founded in 1981, with its first version hosted in Hong Kong and a winner from China, Bayi Rockets. The event takes place on a yearly basis since 1995 (previously once every two or three years).
In 1999, Beirut has witnessed a great first achievement thanks to the persisting efforts of former Sagesse president Antoine Choueiry, the team was able to take home the gold cup against Lianoning Hunters from China. That day marked history for Lebanon's sports team, when schools and companies suspended their activities in favor of celebrating the win. Lebanon also hosted the tournament in year 2000, with another win for Sagesse against Al-Ittihad KSA.
2016's tournament was held in China at Chenzhou Sports Complex. This time, Riyadi were runner-ups by losing to China Kashgar by 8 points with the absence of Amir Saoud, as known as "the Prince".
Chenzhou's Sports Complex / courtesy of www.fiba.basketball
2017's draw had 10 teams divided into two groups:
BC Astana | Kazakhstan
Chooks-To-Go | Philippines
Mono Vampires | Thailand
Petrochimi | Iran
Sarreyyet | Ramallah
Al-Ahli | Dubai
Al- Riyadi Beirut | Lebanon
Dacin Tiger | Taipei
ONGC | India
Al-Riyadi Beirut and Sarreyyet Ramallah both participated in the Hariri Tournament and the final game was satisfactory for the supporters of Riyadi. The team was able to grab the win against Cherkasy Ukraine by 9 points with players crowned as champions, just as Capitano Jean Abdel Nour promised the team's supporters.
This precious win happened in the presence of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, the Minister of Telecommunication and other public figures.
A game that kept a warming atmosphere by the court, with a full house since the early minutes. Supporters of both sides cheered and chanted for their teams until the last whistle.
Wael Arakji earned the MVP of the tournament, while the player of Cherkasy Stanimir Marinov earned the most scoring player.
For his team, Ukraine's ambassador to Lebanon joined forces for Ukrainians fans. By the end of the game, PM Saad Hariri entered the court, saluted both players of each team following a series of photographs, or even selfies.