The Fiba 3x3 World Tour Abu Dhabi Masters 2021 kicked off in style, as residents from across the UAE gathered at the Kaser Al Amwaj on the Abu Dhabi Corniche, to witness some of best 3x3 basketball action in the world.
With the stadium buzzing, Olympic medal-winning basketballers, elite players and Quest winners Team Abu Dhabi took to the court to compete for a place in the quarter-finals. It was Team Abu Dhabi that took to the court in the opening two games, facing Utrecht and Minakami. However, after two hard-fought games, Abu Dhabi were unable to qualify for the next round.
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As the sun set over the Corniche, the on-court action heated up has Latvian gold medallists representing Team Riga took to the court, showing their talent to the fullest. The crowd were clearly impressed, but it’s when Philippine team Manilla Chooks came to court was when they really came to life. But despite two intense games against Serbia’s Liman and the Netherland’s Amsterdam, the crowd favourites were eliminated from the competition.
In between the world-class basketball, there was plenty of electric entertainment including Face Team Dunkers, world-champion BMX riders, and Sean Garnier — a two-time world champion freestyle footballer — pumped up the crowd during the games. After 15 thrilling games UB, Riga, Antwerp, Liman were the top teams in each group.
Celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, Fiba 3x3’s Head of Events and Partnerships Ignacio Soriano, said: “Firstly I would like to thank Suhail Al Arifi (Executive Director of the Events Sector, Abu Dhabi Sports Council) for showing his trust and bringing us back to Abu Dhabi — we are here to stay and we’ve come home. What we’ve seen today is the best players in the world, including gold, silver and bronze Tokyo 2020 medallists. I would like to wish all the players the best of luck this weekend.”
The action continues from 3pm on Saturday, with the first quarter-final between Team UB and Team Princeton at 4pm.