Qatar set for Kazakhstan clash

 22 Sep 2015 - 0:28

Qatar set for Kazakhstan clash
A file photo of Qatar’s Daoud Mousa Daoud in action. Daoud is one of Qatar’s key players at this week’s 2015 FIBA Asia Championship that kicks off tomorrow.

Changsha, China: Qatar will take on Kazakhstan in their opening match at the 2015 FIBA Asia Championship that kicks off tomorrow.
Qatar are paired up with Kazakhstan, Lebabon and Chinese Taipie in Group D of the 16-team event.
Qatar play Lebanon on September 24 followed by their last group game against Chinese Taipei the next day. 
Qatar had a three-step plan for their FIBA Asia Championship preparations. 
They went to Lithuania for their first training camp before heading to Manila for a series of tune-up games against PBA clubs. 

QBF President Sheikh Saoud bin Abdulrahman Al Thani

One main thing that basketball fans tried to keep tabs on was who would be this team’s naturalised player. 
They had former NBA player Jarvis Hayes in 2013 and employed veteran Boney Watson last year at the Asian Games. 
Many expected Watson to reprise his role this year, but the Qatar Basketball Federation (QBF) went with another old reliable instead - Trey Johnson. 
Johnson already donned the Qatari colours in 2012 for the FIBA Asia Cup in Tokyo, where Qatar won three of seven games and finished in third place. 
He is expected to have an even bigger role this year, especially since Qatari icon Yasseen Musa has officially retired from 5x5 international hoops.
Twenty-eight-year-old Khalid Suliman Abdi should be among Qatar’s leaders in the FIBA Asia Championship. Two years ago, he played mainly as a reserve, averaging 5.0 points and 2.8 rebounds, while, at the 2014 Asia Games, he took on a bigger role, shooting 60.0 percent from the field and 36.4 percent from three-point range en route to a team-high 15.0 points per game. 
With Johnson playing mostly as a combo guard, Abdi should retain his spot as the team’s number one wing threat. At 1.98m, he is bigger than most Asian guards and is quicker than most Asian forwards - that’s a combination that he should naturally exploit.
When pundits talk about strengths and weaknesses, Qatar have a great balance of size, mobility, and shooting. 
They are laden with veterans like Mohammed Yousef and Daoud Mousa Daoud, but they also have a couple of young guys to watch out for, most notably Yehia Abdelhaleem and Saad Abdulrahman Mohamed, both of whom played in the 2014 FIBA Asia U18 Championship. 
This team would have been a shoo-in for the quarter-finals had it been in another group, but, as things stand, the Qataris are in for a royal rumble in the Group of Death.  As long as Al Annabi don’t play below their potential, though, they should be among the teams advancing to the second round and maybe even beyond.
According to details announced by QBF, President Sheikh Saoud bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, and Mohammad Ali Hobesh, Secretary General of QBF, will leave for Changhsa today. 
The two will be present at the opening ceremony of the event and watch the games involving Qatar.
Ahmed Abdul Hadi, Director of National Teams, said: “We have prepared really well. We have had training camps in Lithuania and the Philippines. We also played many friendly games.”
He added: “We expect tough competitions as it is a very important event with top sides. We hope we get positive results. The confidence of our players is high. I say good luck to our boys.”