• Saqr Al Qasimi: Women’s sports in particular are growing in popularity by both participants and spectators, and the council is determined to strengthen and sustain that interest.
• Khalid Al Hinai: FIBA officials expressed their support if the UAE submits a bid to host 3×3 World Championships in the future.
• Nada Al Naqbi: Organising the 3×3 tournament will help spread of the popularity of basketball in general
The Algerian G.S. Petroliers (GSP) Team 1 has won the title of the first edition of the 3×3 Arab Women Basketball Tournament, which concluded in Sharjah yesterday (Monday) after clinching a dramatic 14-13 win against Egypt’s Sporting Team 1.
Held in partnership with the Sharjah Sports Council, the pan-Arab tournament was organised by Women Sports Department (WSD) at Sharjah Ladies Club (SLC), and was hosted in collaboration with the Arab Basketball Federation and the UAE Basketball Association, with the participation of 16 teams from eight Arab countries. The Sharjah Ladies Club played host to the inaugural tournament, which was held for the first time in the Middle East from October 30-31.
Following the competitions, Sheikh Saqr Bin Khalid Al Qasimi, Chairman of the Sharjah Sports Council, accompanied by HE Nada Al Naqbi, Director of the Women Sports Department (WSD) in Sharjah, Chairperson of the Women’s Committee at the Arab Basketball Federation and Head of the Higher Organising Committee of the Tournament, and Major General Ismael Al Gergawi, Chairman of both the Arab Basketball Federation and the UAE Basketball Association, presented bronze medals to the Algerian GSP Team 2, silver medals to the Egyptian Sporting Team 1 and gold medals to the Algerian GSP Team 1.
Hamana Nyan, Vice President of International Basketball Federation (FIBA), Ali Salem Al Midfa, Deputy Chairman of Sharjah Sports Council, Abdul Aziz Al Noman, Secretary General of Sharjah Sports Council, heads of basketball federations of countries participating in the tournament and members of both the Arab Basketball Federation and the UAE Basketball Association, were also present.
Over the course of the matches of the closing day, in the final, the Algerian GSP Team 1 turned around an early two-point deficit against Egyptian Sporting Team 1 to lead 6-5 after five minutes. The Algerian team stretched their lead to four points, before Egypt’s Sporting Team 1 drew level, but GSP Team 1 held their nerve to come out on top by a single point with the scores at 14-13 and clinch the title.
In the contest for third-place, Algerian GSP Team 2 were helped to victory over the Sharjah Ladies team due to an injury suffered by captain Amal bin Haider, and made the most of the advantage, winning 13-6.
In other matches, Jordan’s Orthodox team 2 finished fifth after beating the Egyptian Sporting Team 2 with a closely fought 16-15 win. The Lebanese International University Student Team came seventh after clinching a 21-14 win against Jordan’s Al Fahees Team 1.
The UAE participated in the competition with three teams, including the Sharjah Ladies, the Central region and Sharqiya, alongside four Jordanian teams represented by Orthodox Club and Al Fahees Club with two teams each. The Egyptian Sporting Club and the Algerian GSP Club also fielded two teams each, while clubs participating with one team included Algerian Olympic, Bahrain’s Ministry of Youth and Sports, Lebanese International University Students, Palestinian University Students and Iraq’s Halabja Club.
Sheikh Saqr Al Qasimi, Chairman of Sharjah Sports Council, stressed that supporting sporting activities is investing in culture as well competition. He said: “The Council’s strategies are in perfect alignment with those proposed by His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah. It is our aim to encourage and endorse all forms of sport, provide the amenities and facilities and develop the ever-increasing talents of our athletes. Women’s sports in particular are growing in popularity by both participants and spectators, and the council is determined to strengthen and sustain that interest.
“The first ever 3×3 Arab Women Basketball Tournament to be held in the Middle East has been a truly remarkable success and is a credit to the SLC’s Women Sports Department, who have been outstanding organisers. We aspire to maintain the same level of excellence in future Arab tournaments and will continue to reinforce Sharjah’s position as a capital of Arab women’s sports in line with directives of the wife of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah HH Sheikha Jawaher Bint Mohammed Al Qassimi, who support efforts to advance Arab women’s status in all domains, including sports.”
HE Nada Al Naqbi, Director of the Women Sports Department (WSD) in Sharjah, Chairperson of the Women’s Committee at the Arab Basketball Federation and Head of the Higher Organising Committee of the Tournament, revealed that the upcoming editions of the tournament, will always be hosted in Sharjah.
She said: “The success of the two-day tournament, which enjoyed the full support of the International and Arab Basketball federations, and became internationally recognised, are the main reasons behind our decision to continue to host the upcoming editions in Sharjah.
“The impressive presence of International Basketball Federation (FIBA) officials, represented by Hamana Nyan, FIBA’s Vice President and its members, reflects the importance the 3×3 game enjoys globally. Also, organising the 3×3 tournament will help spread of the popularity of basketball in general, especially as it needs just three players using one half of the court. The tournament will qualify the players to be recognised by FIBA and be accredited to play in international 3×3 tournaments. The passion for advancing women’s sports, with the support and patronage of the wife of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah, Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher Bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Chairperson of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs and Chairperson of Sharjah Ladies Club, was one of the main incentives for continuing to host the tournament in Sharjah over the coming years,” Al Naqbi added.
Khalid Al Hinai, Vice President of the UAE Basketball Federation and Consul General of the International Federation of Basketball 3×3 said: “WSD’s success in organising this high-profile tournament attracted the attention of FIBA officials who were eager to watch it on the ground and praised its technical and organisational levels throughout the two-day event.”
Al Hanai concluded by saying: “FIBA officials were impressed by the high professionalism demonstrated by SLC and WSD and expressed their support if the UAE submits a bid to host 3×3 World Championships in the future.”