Fans from the Filipino and Syrian communities residing in the Emirates created a distinctive crowd atmosphere on the first day (yesterday) of the launch of the Dubai International Basketball Championship, which is being held at Al Nasr Club Hall in Dubai. About 2,500 spectators from the Filipino and Syrian communities flocked to attend the opening day and stand behind their teams in the first round matches of the group stage, which brought together the “Strong Group” with the UAE national team, then the Syrian Al-Wehda match and the Libyan Al-Nasr match.
Filipino fans told Emirates Today that the organizing committee, for the first time in the history of the tournament, allocated seats on the floor of the hall with a ticket of 150 dirhams per person, which increased the enthusiasm for the matches.
Andrew Youssef said: “I came two months ago to Dubai, and I was keen to come to its ancient championship, which is a destination for basketball teams and stars in the Philippines, in an opportunity to follow it from the VIP seats.” In turn, Rina Alai, who has lived in Dubai for 15 years, said: “I make sure annually, accompanied by friends, to come to the stands of the Dubai Championship halls, and follow their strong matches, especially those that bring together the Philippine teams with their Syrian and Lebanese counterparts.”
In the same context, Tunde Mustafa said: “The masses of the Filipino, Syrian and Lebanese communities have always represented (fruit) Dubai tournaments, especially when the teams representing these countries meet with each other in distinctive public carnivals.”
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The national team loses the kick-off to the Philippine “Strong Group”.
The national team suffered a sudden loss against the Philippine Strong Group, at the opening of the Dubai International Basketball Championship yesterday, by four points and with a score (91-87), in a meeting that brought them together for the first group. The national team missed the opportunity to finish the first quarter, outperforming by eight points and with a score (27-19), after the “Strong Group” players succeeded in regaining their balance, imposing their rhythm, and obtaining absolute advantage with the results of the second and third quarters by (33-14 and 22-17). In a difference that ensured victory for the Filipinos, despite the fact that the result of the fourth and final quarter went in favor of “Al-Abyad” by (29-17).
Today’s match schedule
■ Tunisian African – Moroccan Sale 17:00
■ Lebanese Dynamo – Syrian Unity 19:00
■ Strong Group of the Philippines – Al-Nasr Al-Libya 21:00
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