ABU DHABI: Basketball players from the UAE with dreams of 3x3 domination will get their chance to hoop it up with the world’s best but their journey starts at the Abu Dhabi Community Tri-Basketball Championship.
The winners of the competition, with its final scheduled for Oct. 22, will earn the right to represent Team Abu Dhabi at the FIBA 3x3 World Tour Abu Dhabi Masters on Oct. 29-30.
Organized by Abu Dhabi Sports Council, the Community Tri-Basketball Championship is open to all basketball fans and players across the UAE over the age of 16.
Participants can register as teams of three or as individuals that can be added to mixed teams. Qualifiers will be held at Al-Hudayriat Island on Oct. 8 and Oct. 15 as there will be 24 teams in each qualifier.
The top eight teams from each qualifier will advance to the finals where the winning team will earn the right to take on the world’s best 3x3 basketball players during a two-day basketball festival at Abu Dhabi Marina Mall a week later.
Should it be successful, Team Abu Dhabi will then advance to the FIBA 3x3 World Tour Final, in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on Dec. 17-18.
The World Tour Final will host the top 12 teams in the FIBA World Tour standings after the final masters event of the season, which will be held in Mexico City from Nov. 6-7. Team Abu Dhabi would be awarded 100 points if it wins the Abu Dhabi Masters, which would be enough to secure a spot in Jeddah.
“It is key for us to have that interaction across the society in various sports,” Suhail Abdullah Al-Arifi, executive director of the events sector of Abu Dhabi Sports Council, said.
“The hosting of major events, including the return of the FIBA 3x3 World Tour Abu Dhabi Masters, is a great win for the large basketball fanbase in the Abu Dhabi community.”
That fanbase will be under the spotlight as Al-Arifi hopes local talent will participate.
“The launch of the Abu Dhabi Community Tri-Basketball Championship is crucial as it will provide the opportunity for everyone in the community to participate for the chance to represent Abu Dhabi on a global level,” he said.
In 2017, 3x3 basketball was selected as an official Olympic sport and first debuted at the 2020 Tokyo Games. It is played on half of a regular five-a-side basketball court, with each team shooting into a single hoop.