A) FROM LEFT: Yaseen Musa, Doha Team, Saadoun Al Kuwari, Executive Director of FIBA 3x3 All Stars, Mohammed Ali Hobash, Vice-President of the FIBA 3x3 All Stars, Alex Sanchez, FIBA 3x3 Director, Dusan Domovic Bulut of Novi Sad, and Rodrigo De La Feunte of FC Barcelona are seen during the pre-event match press conference at Ritz-Carlton in Doha, yesterday. B) Sheikh Saoud bin Abdulrahman Al Thani (left), President of Qatar Basketball Federation and Qatar Olympic Committee Secretary-General, shakes hands with FIBA President Yvan Mainini. C) Action between FC Barcelona and Doha Team during an exhibition match at Katara Beach in Doha yesterday.
PICTURES BY: SALIM MATRAMKOT/SHAIVAL DALAL
DOHA: Six teams will be aiming to clinch the FIBA 3x3 All Stars Championship title at Katara Beach today.
FC Barcelona, Brezovica, Caracas, Doha Team, Nagoya and Novi Sad will be showcasing their basketball skills in the one-day event from 3.10pm today.
Khalid Suliman Abdi, Mohammed Seleem Abdulla, Yaseen Musa and Boney Watson will form Doha Team, who begin their campaign against Japan’s Nagoya and then Slovenia’s Brezovica.
Qatari player Musa is looking forward to the event. Speaking under the presence of Mohammed Ali Hobash, Vice-President of 3x3 All Stars, and Saadoun Al Kuwari, Executive Director, he said: “This will be a new experience for me and the team. I am used to playing 5x5 matches, but I hope many people will support us and that can have a positive effect
Among the players who will be seen in action is world number one Dusan Domovic Bulut of Novi Sad. Bulut said his team will be relishing the opportunity to play in front of fans at Katara Beach.
He said: “We have played a lot of tournaments this year and are happy to be here. The other teams and players are strong and it will be very hard.”
Novi Sad open their campaign against Caracas, before facing FC Barcelona.
The Spanish outfit will have Rodrigo De La Fuente, who came out of retirement to take part in this format. Speaking of his team’s chances, De La Fuente said: “It is a new type of game. I just returned a year ago and never played 3x3 at all. We are going to enjoy this as there are no coaches - it’s just you and your team-mates and are ready to best our best against the teams.”
Alex Sanchez, FIBA 3x3 Director said he hopes the format will attract many people and stressed the sport must reach people rather than the other way round.
He said: “It is very important for us. It is played down town in many parts of the world and our objective is to bring sport to the people which is why we wanted to play this event in an open
stadium rather than an indoor sports hall.”
Each team will play two group matches each, with the top two qualifying for the semi-finals. The final will begin at 7.10pm
Meanwhile, Qatar Basketball Federation President Sheikh Saoud bin Abdulrahman Al Thani said Qatar will help coaches develop their skills and knowledge for the whole of Middle East.
Sheikh Saoud said: “We are happy and delighted to organise the first 3x3 All-Stars event. The event is a mutual idea of Qatar and FIBA for three years. The event will keep bringing bring all the best 3x3 players in the world to Qatar.”
Patrick Bauman, FIBA General Secretary said he is sure the format will boost the whole of the Middle East.THE PENINSULA