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FIBA Basketball World Cup, follow LIVE: FT Lebanon 79 vs France 85

What you need to know

Lebanon has lost to France in the FIBA Basketball World Cup

Final score 79 - 85

The Cedars came close, but not close enough in their Group H game in Jakarta, Indonesia. 

14:49 Beirut Time

 Keep across more updates and analysis on the FIBA World Cup on L'Orient Today. Thanks for joining us :)

14:46 Beirut Time

Thank you for following the LIVE coverage here at L'Orient Today...We wish the result would have been different :(

14:46 Beirut Time

All eyes on the next game

On Thursday, August 31st, Lebanon will face the 3rd team from Group G: either Ivory Coast, Brazil, Iran, or Spain.

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Things are also getting complicated for Olympic qualification, as Japan, with one victory already, has the chance to secure their match against Australia at the moment. Now, Lebanon must rely on further underperformances from Jordan, Iran, and China to stay in the race.

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Analysis from L'Orient Today's sport journalist, Gabriel Blondel:

It's hard to find the words after coming so close to a huge achievement. Despite a strong team performance, led by a standout Wael Arakji with 29 points, the Cedars were ultimately narrowly defeated by the Blues, who were far from dominant but managed to secure the victory in the final quarter...

14:37 Beirut Time

The final score...

14:36 Beirut Time

It's a disappointment as these Blues were definitely beatable today. The Cedars looked like a different team today. 

14:35 Beirut Time

We were on the edge of something huge...but we just couldn't quite get there. We are gutted.

14:35 Beirut Time

It's game over :( France has won...

14:34 Beirut Time

France gets a three pointer... Lebanon 79 - France 85.

14:33 Beirut Time

Less than 50 seconds left...

14:32 Beirut Time

And it's in for Arakji! 79-82! Timeout called by Vincent Collet... Only one possession difference now! Yalla guys, you can do it!

14:32 Beirut Time

Foul drawn by Wael... 2 free throws to follow...

14:31 Beirut Time

Lebanon 79 - France 82. OOOOOF....

14:31 Beirut Time

59 seconds to go...

14:30 Beirut Time

That three pointer by Elie Okobo was a dagger... But luckily the Cedars got a immediate response from Hayk 74-82... Another basket from the Cedars making it Lebanon 77 - France 82

14:29 Beirut Time

Less than two minutes left...

14:29 Beirut Time

France just got a three pointer - Lebanon 72 - France 80.

The Cedars quickly replied Lebanon 74 - France 80

14:28 Beirut Time

BASKET for the Cedars - 72 Lebanon - France 77 

Five points between them... 

14:27 Beirut Time

ZEINOUUUUUUN, a.k.a the Guitarist, stopped the bleeding for a brief moment taking it to 68-74! But France quickly replied.... Then Lebanon got another basket - so now we're at Lebanon 70 - France 77. 

14:26 Beirut Time

Break away from the Cedars - Lebanon 68 - France 74.

14:25 Beirut Time

HUGE roars from the crowd... this is so tight... Coach al-Hajj doing everything he can in his pep-talk to his team. "You can do it" he SCREAMS to his team.

14:24 Beirut Time

It's slipping away...

14:24 Beirut Time

Fransisco strolling through the Lebanese defense... a magnificent drive that ends with a basket and a free throw. 72-65 France.

14:23 Beirut Time

Less than 5 minutes to go... Lebanon 65 - France 71.

14:23 Beirut Time

Ball eventually returned to France.

14:22 Beirut Time

Coach Hajj requests a challenge to try to regain possession... suspense...

14:22 Beirut Time

There's a official review - for a 'out-of-bounds call'

14:21 Beirut Time

And 65-69 for France after another basket from Tarpey.

14:21 Beirut Time

Beautiful Lebanese combination, but it ends with an air-ball from Saoud. Nothing seems to be going in now.

14:20 Beirut Time

Lebanon 65 - France 69. France building momentum...

14:19 Beirut Time

Very passionate strategy chat by coach al-Hajj during a short time out.  

14:18 Beirut Time

We've seen the 5th team foul for Lebanon. The French will now go to the free-throw line on every new foul committed by a Lebanese player.  

14:18 Beirut Time

Isaia Cordinier gets a basket for France: Lebanon 65 - France 67

14:17 Beirut Time

France equalises - 65-65

14:15 Beirut Time

France benefitted there from a 3-point shot by Cordilier, which has helped them close in.... Remains Lebanon 65 - France 63.

14:14 Beirut Time

France have replied... It's now Lebanon 64 - France 63. One point separating them.

14:14 Beirut Time

Good defense by Spellman! (I never thought I'd say that phrase one day)

14:13 Beirut Time

Already 27 points for Arakji, who's giving us an astronomical performance.

14:13 Beirut Time

And Spellman emerges from his box to hit us with another magnificent 3-pointer! 64-60 Lebanon!

14:11 Beirut Time

YAAAS - Lebanon 61 - France 60

14:11 Beirut Time

59-60 with one quarter left before the final whistle... Jad el-Hajj's team is repeating the feat of Fadi Khatib, Rony Fahd, Joe Vogel, Jean Abdelnour, and others at the 2006 World Cup, when they defeated France in the last group match. History might be unfolding before our eyes, my friends.

14:07 Beirut Time

We must admit that the the referee has blown a few generous whistles in favour of the Lebanese...And we're not complaining! 

14:06 Beirut Time

End of the third quarter: Lebanon 59 - France 58 

14:05 Beirut Time

For a brief moment France equalised thanks to Batum - making it 55...But Lebanon quickly replied...And then France replied again - so now the score is Lebanon 58 - France 58.

This is CLOSE.

14:03 Beirut Time

And yet another free throw for France...Now it's Lebanon 55 - France 53.

The Cedars tried to reply immediately but didn't get a basket.

14:01 Beirut Time

And another free throw for France, taking the score to Lebanon 55 - France 52

14:00 Beirut Time

The chants of the Lebanese fans are echoing down from the stands. It's magnificent. Let's believe!

13:59 Beirut Time

HAYK getting in on the scoring from beyond the 3-point line too!!! 55-50!! YALLAAAAAAAA!!!

13:59 Beirut Time

OOOOOH what a basket from Hayk Gyokchyan 

13:58 Beirut Time

After that free-throw, the score is: Lebanon 52 - France 50

13:58 Beirut Time

France has a free-throw...

13:55 Beirut Time

We love to see Spellman dunk like that. More please! 

13:55 Beirut Time

Well played - basket by the Cedars :50-48. And we just got ANOTHER one - wooo: 52-48

13:54 Beirut Time

The last two plays prove it: the Blues are completely off track. It's your moment, guys. 48-48.

13:53 Beirut Time

Some frustrations there as the Cedars scramble to try and land a basket, three tries and it just doesn't go in.

13:52 Beirut Time

Omari Spellman gets us a point - 47-48

13:51 Beirut Time

The blues inch ahead again. No turnovers like that, Kariiiim...Lebanon 46 - France 48.

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But he makes both of his free throws and evens the score at 46 all!

13:49 Beirut Time

Coach Hajj expressing frustration over Omari's lack of accuracy... He's not the only one frustrated...

13:49 Beirut Time

46-46 - even stevens! 

13:48 Beirut Time

Fournier and De Colo are waking up... Two 3-pointers from the two French leaders: 44-46 France. 

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And it's the Cedars who start off the 3rd quarter the best!!!! Haidar and then Arakji (already with 24 points) take the score to 42-38!

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Here's our man Wael Arakji - playing very well so far.

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Lebanon starts with the same starting five as at the beginning: Arakji, Darwiche, Zeinoun, Haidar, and Spellman.

13:45 Beirut Time

Very important thing to remember during this game - and it's about the Olympics.

If the Lebanese team wins this match, they will be on par with Japan, which is currently the only Asian nation to have won one of its two matches (against Finland) since the start of the competition. The results of this group stage will be combined with those of the classification matches, which will determine which Asian team secures a direct ticket to the Paris Olympics next summer

13:44 Beirut Time

Half-time is coming to an end - and we couldn't ask for a closer scoreline to start this second half with. We at the L'Orient Today sports desk are here, for you, to bring you every minute of the game. Yalla - let's go!

13:41 Beirut Time

Right - let's use this half time to give you another refresher in all the 'key words' you may hear or read during the game...

Technical foul: a type of foul usually committed when a player or coach violates certain rules, excluding physical contact, often after disputing a referee's decision.

Floater: a jump shot taken from mid-range, allowing the player to avoid defenders' anticipation and block attempts. This technique surprises the opponent, but its accuracy is less.

Lay-up: refers to scoring the ball at the basket without dunking after taking two steps and a jump, before the ball touches the ground. The palm of the hand is underneath the ball, and the fingers are facing the basket, unlike a push-up lay-up where the fingers are directed towards the shooter, as in a standard shot.

Traveling: a violation when the player in possession of the ball takes more than two steps without dribbling.

Pick and roll: a screen where the player who sets the screen "rolls" around their defender towards the basket, putting their opponent on their back.

Poster: denotes a dunk performed over a defender. By extension, a player who has executed a poster dunk has "posterized" their opponent.

13:36 Beirut Time

Analysis on France's play in the first half: Gobert's got a leg issue, Fall has a toothache, Okobo "doesn't want to play" according to Collet, And Fournier is not making a single basket... These French players are looking vulnerable.

13:33 Beirut Time

But this first half of the game is more than encouraging for our Lebanese team, who might be on the path to a remarkable feat. Let's not get too carried away, but WE BELIEVE!

13:31 Beirut Time

Btw - seconds after the half-time buzzer went Ouattara almost made the shot of the World Cup... Thankfully, the buzzer had already sounded. The basket doesn't count, leaving the score at 37-38 for France, who therefore finish the first half in the lead in a somewhat miraculous way.

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Look how close that scoreline is at half time...All to play for!

13:29 Beirut Time

Half time - Lebanon 37 - France 38

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37-38 - France inch ahead

13:27 Beirut Time

Foul by Hayk on Fournier during his 3-point shot: 3 free throws coming up for the Blues, who can take the lead again and finish the first half ahead.

13:26 Beirut Time

Once again, Guerschon Yabusele brings the score to 37-36. The Blues are stepping up their defense, making baskets much harder to come by for the Cedars.

13:25 Beirut Time

France just got another - 37-36

13:24 Beirut Time

Fortunately, Yabusele is there for the Blues, the only one who's in his game on the French side. 37-33.

13:24 Beirut Time

After a little time out proposed by Lebanon's Coach Hajj. Now we're back at it. 37-33 as we approach halftime. It's incredible what's happening.

13:22 Beirut Time

How clever is that fast break! 21 points for Wael, who smoothly puts in another lay-up and gives Lebanon a 6-point lead again! 37-31!

13:21 Beirut Time

A quick reply by the Cedars to a basket by France - 37-31

13:21 Beirut Time

It's really tough to see Fournier and Batum miss open shots like that... the Blues are really off their game.

13:19 Beirut Time

A thumbs up from our L’Orient Today sports journalist, Gabriel Blondel. Things are going well!

35-29 latest score

13:17 Beirut Time

And the BLOOOOCK that brings joy after another French turnover! Zeinoun takes the score to 35-27!

13:17 Beirut Time

France snatched the ball off us there... Latest score: Lebanon 35 - France 27

13:16 Beirut Time

Already 19 points pour Arakji ! What kind of game are you giving us, Wael??? 33-25!!!

13:16 Beirut Time

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13:15 Beirut Time

AND ONE ! Wael is absolutely on fire today: another basket scored for the Asian MVP with a foul on top! 33-25 with a free throw coming up...

13:14 Beirut Time

And Sergio follows up right after! 29-25! Yalla chabeeb!

13:13 Beirut Time

WOOOW - 3 super points from Wael - 29-23

13:12 Beirut Time

Did I dream it, or did Omari Spellman just make a defensive stop? All that, just to send us a huge brick afterward... Omari, if you only knew...

13:12 Beirut Time

Lebanon 24 - France 23

As a French commentator just said: "Things are looking complicated for France"

13:10 Beirut Time

Good possession for the Cedars... things are looking good!

What we'll have to work out is if it's that the Lebanese team is increasing quality or if the French team are tiring already?

13:09 Beirut Time

Lebanon 24 - France 21

13:08 Beirut Time

And WAEEEEL, who is still on cloud nine, scores the first basket of the 2nd quarter! 22-19!!!

13:07 Beirut Time

Clearly, the Blues are still struggling after their elimination against Latvia and are conceding a lot of turnovers. The Cedars are taking full advantage of this and playing without hesitation so far. 20-19, with 10 points scored by Wael, who is by far the best Lebanese player.

13:07 Beirut Time

Aywaaaaa Sergio Darwiche puts Lebanon back in the lead with this well-executed lay-up! 20-19 Lebanon!

13:07 Beirut Time

Oh dear... the Blues take the lead for the first time in the match thanks to this new basket from Yabusele: 18-19 France.

13:02 Beirut Time

WOOOO another basket from the Cedars: Lebanon 20 - France 19 

13:00 Beirut Time

By far the best first quarter that Lebanon has played since the start of the World Cup  

12:59 Beirut Time

A splendid start for the Lebanese team who are still in the lead: 18-17 with 3 minutes left in the 1st quarter.

12:59 Beirut Time

And in case you want a bit of help with the technical terminology used throughout the game... (We'll bring you some more in a little while! Don't worry though, we won't test you on your knowledge)

Air ball: a missed shot that doesn't touch either the rim or the backboard.

Alley-oop: a variant of a slam dunk that involves catching a pass in mid-air and dunking the ball directly into the basket.

"And-one": scoring a basket while being fouled, resulting in an additional free throw for the offensive player.

Brick: colloquially refers to a missed shot that doesn't hit the basket's rim but only hits the backboard.

Buzzer beater: a shot made just before the buzzer sounds, indicating the end of a quarter or a game.

12:57 Beirut Time

Great start by the Cedars. Lebanon 18 - France 14.

12:54 Beirut Time

Latest score: Lebanon 14 - France 9

12:51 Beirut Time

France's starting five: De Colo, Fournier, Yabusele, Tarpey, Ouattara.

12:50 Beirut Time

The starting line-up for Lebanon 

12:49 Beirut Time

And we're off! The first basket of the match scored by Yabusele under the rim... Before the strong response from Wael Arkji! 2-2.

12:43 Beirut Time

We are LIVE from the sports desk at L'Orient Today - it's me Gabriel Blondel, Lisa Goursaud and Olivia Le Poidevin here - bringing you all the hype and analysis.

Kellenaaaaa lel watan" resonates in the newsroom. "If Lebanon wins, we publish tomorrow's newspaper in Arabic," a chief editor exclaims.

12:42 Beirut Time

We'll be bringing you all the minute by minute coverage of the game! Thank you for joining us.

16:28 Beirut Time

It's going to be a big game for Lebanon. If they do well then they could be in the running for a place in the 2024 Olympic games - by being the top country in the Asia zone. 

But they'll have a lot to prove after their defeat against Canada on Sunday. 

16:23 Beirut Time

Hello and welcome to L'Orient Today's LIVE coverage of the FIBA Basketball World Cup game: Lebanon vs France.

On Tuesday 29 August at 12:45 Beirut time (11:45 Paris time) we will be bringing you minute by minute coverage of Lebanon's third Group H game - right here, on this LIVE blog. 

We look forward to you joining us.