FIBA 3X3 World Tour Doha Masters tip off today at Al Gharafa Beach Games Area
After the overwhelming success of last year’s edition in Katara, the FIBA 3x3 World Tour Masters has returned to Doha once again, thanks to the efforts of the Qatar Olympic Committee (QOC) and Qatar Basketball Federation (QBF).
This year, the Al Gharafa Beach Games Area, situated next to QBF headquarters, will be the venue of the event on Friday and Saturday.
Fourteen teams including two from the United States of America and one from the host country, Qatar will compete for top honors. The teams are divided into four pools with Pool C featuring No.3 seed NY Harlem (USA), No.6 Lausanne Katapult (SUI) and No.14 Utena Uniclub (LTU) probably the group of death.
The Lusail team comprising Vasileiadis Kostantinos, Ousseynou Mbow, Mame Souleye Ndour and Hamza Maher Radi will be leading the Qatari challenge as they look forward to a good show on the home turf.
Lusail are in Pool A alongside No.1 seed Liman from Serbia and Philippine’s Manila Chooks, the No. 8 seed.
For the Filipino community in Qatar, they can look forward to thrilling action from the Manila Chooks when they take on Liman during their much-anticipated clash tomorrow.
En route Doha, Liman has won two of the last three Tours, dominating in Hungary with victories at the Debrecen and Europe Masters, and they are upbeat with the return of superstar Stefan Stojacic to the team after an injury layoff.
At last year’s enthralling Doha Masters, eventual runners-up Liman were stunned by Joshua Munzon-led Manila Chooks on Day 1 and they will be keen to avoid another boil-over this time around.
The basketball-loving Filipino community in Qatar will be expected to roll out the drums in large numbers for the Manila Chooks as they cheer their beloved team to victory tomorrow.
The Doha Masters features four of the top five ranked teams in the world, and will provide tons of excitement for 3×3 fans with the World Tour having been on hold since the first three Masters of the season were played in Hungary in late August-early September.
The event in Qatar – a site of several famous 3x3 moments – will also provide opportunities for several teams to secure coveted places at next month's World Tour Final in Jeddah.
On Wednesday, the organizers of the FIBA 3x3 World Tour Doha Masters held the official press conference with the presence of Mr. Ali Al Malki, Secretary General of QBF and Mr. Ignacio Soriano, FIBA 3X3 Head of Events & Partnership.
Secretary-General of QBF Ali Al Malki said, “We are delighted to welcome everyone today in our home. We are excited to host FIBA 3x3 World Tour Masters once again in Doha. We had to wait several months for this great sporting event to return to Qatar, because of the global pandemic. Qatar Basketball Federation is a firm supporter of 3x3 and with the assistance of Qatar Olympic Committee, we made all the necessary preparations, we respected all the rules imposed by the Ministry of Health and the time has finally come. We are now ready to host the best teams in the world, to enjoy basketball and to welcome back the devoted fans of 3X3.
The next coming months are very important in Qatar’s efforts to qualify a team on 3x3 at the Tokyo Olympic Games and we will do our very best. Today begins an exciting period for Qatar Basketball starting with the 3X3 and we continue next week with the Asian Cup qualifying tournament for our national team. Qatar Basketball Federation is organizing two “bubbles” in a short amount of time and I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone at QBF for their efforts. Thank you for your presence today and we expect to welcome you here on Friday."
On the occasion, QBF presented the agreements with the official sponsors of the events.
Ignacio Soriano, FIBA 3x3 Head of Events & Partnership, said, “As you all know the FIBA 3x3 World Tour Masters series was going to start in April here from Doha. We are now finally here in November in the middle of the Corona crisis. The upcoming tournament will be the 4th World Masters following those in Hungary. We are happy to be here. We complied and we follow all the protocols and measures under the instructions of the Ministry of Health.
We would like to thank the Secretary General Mr. Ali Al Malki, Qatar Basketball Federation, Qatar Olympic Committee and all the authorities for their contribution in hosting this event again.
Fourteen teams from all over the world, including two from the United States (New York and Princeton) have traveled to compete here. We expect a great tournament with 105.000 US dollars in prize money divided across the top five teams. The tournament will be streamed live in 100 countries.
We see Qatar as a solid partner for 3x3, dates back to 2013. We have a contract for one more year with another tournament in 2021. We know that the Qatar Basketball Federation and Qatar Olympic Committee have great plans for 3x3 in the country. Let’s not forget that Qatar will participate in the Olympic Qualification tournament in Austria next year. Qatar has Olympic aspirations for 3x3."
The tournament will tip off on Friday at 3:10 pm. The thrilling dunk contest will start on Saturday at 7.50 pm. For the first time ever, the spectators will have an opportunity to be the fourth judge in the slam dunk competition.
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