Dubai: Saudi Arabia clinched the GCC youth basketball title after defeating hosts UAE 67-59 in the last match held Friday night at Sharjah club indoor sports hall.
Despite the defeat, the UAE qualified for the Asian Youth finals along with Saudi Arabia, which will be held next year.
The host country is yet to be decided by the Asian Basketball Confederation.
After winning two successive matches against Qatar and Bahrain, the UAE lost their last two matches which denied them from winning the GCC title.
They finished runners-up and clinched the silver medal, just like they did in the 10th tournament two years ago when they came second to champions Bahrain.
Shaikh Mohammad Bin Saud Al Qasimi Chairman of the Sharjah Central Finance Department and Deputy President Sharjah club Honourary Council presented the Saudi players with the trophy and gold medals.
The UAE won the silver and Kuwait got the bronze.
Prior to the last match, Bahrain dashed Kuwait's hope of winning the title when they beat them 57-55. The Bahrain's win came in the last minute, despite Kuwait leading in the second and third quarters 28-24 and 44-38, after the first quarter finished 15-15.
Defending champions Bahrain pressed hard to score valuable points in the last seconds to finish winners.
Saudi Arabia's youth took the initiative from the word go.
They led in all the four quarters without letting the UAE snatch the lead from their grasp. They finished the first quarter 27-21 with swift moves by Ayoub Howsawy, Mohammad Marwani and Hani Mohammad.
Their quick breakthroughs and three point long range shots, opened the UAE basket to finish winners 41-37 at the end of the second quarter.
The UAE's Rashid Naser who was ranked as the best player in the tournament, found the going tough against a strong Saudi defence who kept him man marked and didn't give him the space to create any danger.
He tried with his teammates Jasim Mohammad, Saleh Zuwayed, and Salah Khalifa, however the Saudi's tightened their grip on the match, widening the gap to 10 points at the end of the third quarter 56-46.
Ayman Mowalad, Siraj Omar, Hasan Suliman, continued their excellent form for the Saudi team with good efforts by Howsawy, Hani and Marwani in the fourth quarter.
The UAE players missed many chances which could have made them level the score.
The Saudis kept a comfortable lead until the end to be crowned champions with a 67-59.
Gold medal: Saudi Arabia. Silver: UAE, Bronze: Kuwait. 4th place Bahrain. Fifth and last place: Qatar.