Dubai: His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has issued orders to honour the UAE national basketball team for winning the gold medal in the 18th Gulf Cup basketball tournament.
The UAE defeated Qatar 69-64 in the final.
Esmail Al Gergawi, the board chairman of UAE Basketball Association, said Shaikh Mohammad was very pleased with the achievement and he congratulated the players for the dazzling victory they achieved.
"Shaikh Mohammad has ordered to honour the basketball team for the great success they achieved for their country. He praised the players' efforts and asked to continue winning titles," said Al Gergawi.
"Shaikh Mohammad said determination and strong will are great weapons that will help in winning titles. He also said the basketball gold medal is a decoration for UAE sport and that we have to benefit from it to develop our standard and continue to win more gold medals and championships," added the UAE Basketball Association board chairman.
Meanwhile, Khalifa Al Shaiba, the UAE basketball team skipper, announced his retirement after clinching the gold medal and receiving the trophy as an outstanding achievement.
"I think it's a good time to retire after 20 years in basketball," he said. "The great achievement of winning the Gulf Cup basketball tournament is a very good time to announce my retirement with the national team."
He said that winning the Gulf Cup title was a good reward for him on his retirement day.
"I decided before the tournament started to retire at the end of the Gulf Cup. However, winning the title was an excellent reward for me before retiring."
The UAE skipper, who is 35 years old, said he would continue playing with his club Al Wasl until the end of the current season.
After that he would decide on quitting the sport for good.