Abu Dhabi: The Abu Dhabi Sports Council announced hosting the Abu Dhabi Masters World 3X3 Basketball in cooperation with the International Basketball Federation (FIBA), on October 29-30 in a specially built arena at the Marina Mall.
The 3X3 World Championships, which is part of the world tour, returns to the capital city for the first time in five years.
The highlight of this year’s championship is it brings together the elite 3X3-basketball players along with some of the stars Tokyo Olympic representing the cities around the world.
The Abu Dhabi Masters will provide fans in the UAE and abroad the opportunity to enjoy the experience of attending live events in the capital for the first time since the lifting of travel restrictions and the reopening of Abu Dhabi’s borders to travellers who have received the Covid-19 vaccine.
The 3X3 format that made its debut at the Tokyo Olympics has seen a noticeable increase in popularity, thanks to the simplicity of its rules and facilities, as well as its fast pace and exciting action.
The tournament emphasises the capabilities of Abu Dhabi and its leadership in hosting international sporting events and organising them to the highest safety standards and in a safe environment, providing basketball fans the opportunity to watch the best players in the world live at the venue.
The event has drawn 12 international teams including four sides that are on the top five spots in the FIBA world tour.
Liman from Serbia, currently the top team in the world tour, will be looking forward to consolidate their position while the Latvian side Riga, the gold medallist at Tokyo, the Belgian team Antwerp and Dutch side Utrecht, ranked third and fourth respectively, challenging for the lead.
Meanwhile, Abu Dhabi Sports Council will also conduct a program ahead of the upcoming 3X3 event, including the Abu Dhabi Community Tri-Basketball Championship, with 24 teams in fray from October 8-15.
The winner of this qualifier will become the final team at the world 3X3 tour representing Abu Dhabi City on October 29-30.
However, it will be the top 12 ranked teams in the World Tour who will travel to Jeddah Final in December.
Given the wide fan base enjoyed by basketball in the UAE, Abu Dhabi Sports Council in cooperation with the International Basketball Federation, was keen to organize the event and return the sport of tri-basketball to the UAE for the first time since it hosted two consecutive rounds of the tournament in 2015 and 2016.
His Excellency Aref Hamad Al Awani, General Secretary of Abu Dhabi Sports Council, said: “We are pleased to host the FIBA 3X3 Worlds once again in Abu Dhabi in cooperation with the International Basketball Federation. The popularity of tri-basketball has increased after its first appearance at the Tokyo Olympics, and we are confident of the success that the tournament will achieve, especially in conjunction with the prosperity that the capital is experiencing with its agenda full of prestigious international sporting events for this season.”
He continued: “The diversity of international sports events that are held in Abu Dhabi confirms its prestigious reputation and its important global position in the global sports map in light of the confidence of international sports federations and institutions. It also renews its leadership and ideal handling during the global health crisis, in light of the wise vision of our wise leadership and its great interest And its generous support for all proactive solutions and advanced plans in order to implement precautionary measures to combat the spread of Covid-19.”
According to him, Abu Dhabi is witnessing the organization of a series of international sporting events, including the UAE Cycling Tour, UFC Championships and the Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship.
“Abu Dhabi is currently hosting the Indian Premier League, the biggest franchise cricket event in the world. It will be followed by the ICC T20 World Cup and the Abu Dhabi T10,” Al Awani added.
“The capital city is also preparing to host a series of events, including the FINA World Swimming Championships short course under banner of the Abu Dhabi Water Sports Festival, the Abu Dhabi World Triathlon Championship, the ADNOC Abu Dhabi Marathon, Spartan World Championship and the Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. The list of world class events confirms the size of the global sports interaction that Abu Dhabi will witness during the coming period.”
Alex Sanchez, FIBA Tri-Basketball Director, said: “The two world tri-basketball tournaments that were held in Abu Dhabi in 2015 and 2016 are still some of the most successful editions of the tournament ever, and this is exactly what prompted us to collaborate with the Abu Dhabi Sports Council once again to organise the World Championship to take place in its second home.”
The Abu Dhabi 3x3 Worlds has a prize fund of US$150,000 on offer. The winner will receive $40,000 while the second and third takes away $30,000 and $20,000 respectively. The tournament will also include several entertainment activities like musical concerts with leading celebrities in attendance. The two-day basketball festival event will feature a slam dunk contest and a shoot-out competition.