Sharjah: Syrian newcomers Al Thawra team have set the basketball court on fire with their sizzling performance in the seventh edition of the Arab Women Sports Tournament on Friday. They will meet reigning champions Al Fuhais of Jordan in a highly anticipated final on Monday evening.
The Syrian team will be hoping to redeem themselves after suffering a loss at the hands of the Jordanian to clinch the coveted title.
Al Thawra’s journey to the final was cemented following their decisive victory over Bahrain’s Al Ahli team by a commanding 20-point margin on Friday, ending the game with a score of 85-65 at the Al Bataeh Club.
The competition format, a single round-robin among seven clubs, is designed to intensify the challenge, with only the top two teams earning the coveted spots in the final.
In their latest showdown against Bahrain’s Al Ahli, the Syrian team demonstrated their formidable prowess and readiness for the final, dominating the scoreboard in the first, second, and fourth quarters. The Bahraini team secured a slight edge in the third quarter, yet it was not enough to deter the Syrian squad’s momentum.
Meanwhile, Iraqi Ghaz Al Shamal SC ignited the competition for third and fourth places after securing an 84-73 win against hosts Sharjah Women’s Sports in the penultimate round of the preliminary stage.
Squandering the chance
In the final match of the day, Saudi Capital squandered the opportunity to end the first half ahead of Kuwait’s Al Fatat. The Kuwait team increased their advantage in the third and fourth quarters to win 72-68.
Hosts Sharjah Women Sports booked a semi-final meeting with Egypt’s Sporting while Lebanon’s Byblos will take on Kuwaiti club Salwa Alsabah at Khorfakkan Club on Saturday.
In the first quarter-final, the Egyptian team eased past Syria’s Taldara SC in 58 minutes, winning the three sets 25-9, 25-8 and 25-8. Contrarily, Sharjah team earned their ticket to the last four stage after an exciting face-off with Iraq’s Akkad Ankawa in a four sets. Sharjah had to overcome a first-set loss to clinch the remaining sets 21-25, 25-15, 25-16 and 25-19.
The Kuwaiti Salwa Alsabah grabbed the third qualification spot following a clean sweep win against UAE’s Fatima Bint Mubarak Academy (25-12, 25-16, 25-14), while Lebanon’s Byblos completed the line-up with straight-set win over Jordanian De La Salle (25-7, 25-17, 25-10).
Maintaining a clean record
Egypt’s Enppi SC and Bahrain’s A’Ali SC are gearing up for a fierce showdown in the table tennis final, having successfully advanced through the semi-finals at on Thursday.
Both teams maintained their clean record in the group stage before continuing their impressive performance in the semi-finals. A’Ali secured their place in the final after winning against Syria’s Al Muhafezah and Sharjah Women’s Sports in the group stage and then overcame Jordan’s Hamadah SC in the quarter-finals. Meanwhile, Enppi defeated Kuwait’s Al Fatat Kuwaiti and Hamadah SC in the group stage and emerged victorious against Al Muhafezah in the semi-finals, setting up Hamadah SC and Al Muhafezah to compete for the bronze medal.
Nabil Mamoun, Member of the International Table Tennis Federation’s rules committee and head referee during AWST 2024, commended the stellar performances of the four semi-finalists. “Egypt’s Enppi and Bahrain’s A’Ali have rightfully earned their spots in the final, showcasing amazing skills and finesse, dominating their groups from the outset. Their journey to the final is marked by commendable victories and remarkable performances. The players demonstrated high level of skills,” he added.